• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 1 Servings

Basil Cheese Torta with Red Bell Pepper Strips and Pine Nuts

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Category: Appetizers, Vegetarian

 Ingredients List

  • 1/2 lb Cream cheese; softened
  • 4 tb Butter; softened
  • 3/4 c Basil pesto
  • 1/2 lb Provolone, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c Toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Red bell pepper; roasted,
  • -- peeled, seeded, and
  • -- cut into 3" x 3/8" strips
  • 1 sm Jar sun-dried tomatoes
  • -- (packed in olive oil)
  • Fresh basil for garnish


Mix cream cheese and butter with a fork; add pesto and mix well. Line
a small (3-cup) loaf pan or bowl with plastic wrap, leaving several inches
of overhang on each side. Make a thin layer of provolone slices on the
bottom and partially up the sides. Spread 1/3 of the pesto mixture over
the cheese; artistically arrange 2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes, 4-6 bell pepper
strips, and about 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts over the pesto. Repeat
layers until all ingredients are used (reserving some of the pine nuts to
sprinkle on top), pressing down well between layers. Chill overnight or
for several days. Serve at room temperature on a platter wreathed with
fresh basil sprigs. Additional toasted pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes cut
into flowers, red bell pepper strips, and fresh basil sprigs may be used as
garnish. NOTE: Torta may be presented inverted or not. Keeps several
weeks refrigerated. Although best served at room temperature, it slices
best chilled. I like to serve it on a platter adorned with grape leaves
and small clusters of red and white grapes. VARIATIONS: = =
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Use lemon pesto; substitute slivered toasted
almonds for the pine nuts; omit the sun-dried tomatoes and add 1 teaspoon
lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture. Use purple pesto; omit the red
pepper if desired and increase the sun-dried tomatoes. Use cinnamon
basil pesto; omit the sun-dried tomatoes and the red peppers if desired,
and use pecans instead of pine nuts. Source: The Herb Garden Cookbook,
by Lucinda Hutson Typed for you by Karen Mintzias

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