Friday, August 28, 2009

Basil-Cheese Torta

Basil-Cheese Torta (from jacqui)


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (4-ounce) package feta cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
Lucinda's Garden Pesto
2 (6-ounce) packages provolone cheese slices
Roasted Red Pepper Salsa, divided
1/4 cup chopped pine nuts, toasted
Garnishes: chopped fresh basil, fresh basil sprigs, pine nuts
Process first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Stir in Lucinda's Garden Pesto, blending well.

Line an 8- x 4-inch loafpan with plastic wrap, allowing 1 inch to hang over on each side.

Arrange one-third of cheese slices on bottom and up sides of pan. Layer evenly with half of pesto mixture, 1/3 cup Roasted Red Pepper Salsa, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, and half of remaining cheese slices. Repeat layers, ending with cheese slices, gently pressing each layer. Fold cheese slices toward center. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Invert torta onto a serving platter. Top with 1/3 cup salsa; garnish, if desired. Serve with remaining salsa and toasted French baguette slices.

12 servings

Lucinda's Garden Pesto


3 cups fresh basil leaves
4 to 6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons shredded Romano cheese
2/3 cup olive oil
Process basil and garlic in a food processor until chopped. Add pine nuts and cheeses, and process until blended, stopping to scrape down sides. With processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth. Chill up to 5 days, if desired.

1 cup

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa


4 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dried tomatoes*
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Bake peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet at 500° for 12 minutes or until peppers look blistered, turning once.

Place peppers in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop peppers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside.

Pour boiling water to cover over dried tomatoes. Let stand 3 minutes; drain and coarsely chop.

Stir together bell pepper, tomato, basil, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill salsa up to 2 days, if desired.

* 1/3 cup dried tomatoes in oil may be substituted for dried tomatoes. Drain tomatoes well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

2 cups

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