An impressive appetizer that will have your guests raving and begging for the recipe! This Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Torta is so full of the flavors of Tuscany you’ll think you’re there!
A couple months ago I shared a recipe for Caprese Tartlets that a family friend makes. She’s the one who I said we always look forward to when she shows up at a party because we know she will have something spectacular to eat.
Well she did it again! This is the appetizer that she brought to my daughter’s graduation party. Let me tell you… everyone was raving over this one! Several people asked for the recipe so I knew I needed to share it here on Family Table Treasures.
I made this for dad on Father’s Day along with the refreshing Mai Tais that I shared the recipe for earlier this week. We couldn’t get enough of this tasty dip and I’m kind of wishing I didn’t cut the recipe in half.
It was pretty simple to make too. The only problem I had was that I made it at Paul’s house and he didn’t have a food processor. I had to use his blender and it really did not work well so it took me a bit longer. If you have a food processor, emulsion blender or a high performance blender like a Ninja or Vitamix you’ll have this whipped up in no time! Next time I’ll make sure I have my Ninja blender with me!
Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Torta
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 1/2 Cups Packed, fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 Cup Pine nuts
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
- 2 2/3 Cups Cream cheese ,room temperature (about 21 ounces)
- 1/4 Cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/3 Cups Drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 Cup Tomato paste
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter Room temperature
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- Fresh basil sprigs
- Toasted pine nuts
- extra virgin olive oil ,for drizzle on top
- Baguette slices ,toasted
- Finely chop garlic in processor or high powered blender. Add basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, oil and lemon juice. Process until well blended. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Process until just mixed. Transfer pesto to medium bowl.
- Rinse out processor or blender. Place sun dried tomatoes to processor and mix until finely chopped. Add tomato paste and process until mixture is almost smooth. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and blend well. Remove mixture to a small dish.
- Using electric mixer, beat 2 cups cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spray 6-cup soufflé dish with nonstick spray. Line with plastic wrap, extending plastic over sides. Spread 3/4 cup cream cheese-butter mixture evenly over bottom of prepared dish. Top with half of tomato mixture, then 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture, then half of pesto mixture. Repeat layering with 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture, remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture and remaining pesto. Top with remaining cream cheese-butter mixture. Cover and chill overnight. (This can be made up to 3 days ahead. At the very least it will need 24 hours to chill.)
- Invert torta onto platter. Peel off plastic. Garnish with basil sprigs, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers.
- This is a large batch serving. I would cut the recipe in half for a smaller gathering.
- I cut it in half and it served 8 of us generously with some left over.
This recipe was shared by a family friend who got it from a local cook book. I also found the recipe on Epicurious and slightly adapted it.
I think the directions explain the process of puting this together well but I thought I would share a picture of how to line your dish with plastic wrap. Make sure you spray inside of your dish before lining it with plastic wrap for easy removal.
This Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Torta is great on toasted baguettes, crackers, veggies or anything else you want to make more delicious!
If your summer schedule is anything like mine you have a lot of parties coming up that you’ll be looking for some great apps for. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Here are some other great appetizer recipes for you to try. Just click on the picture for the recipe.
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I will be sharing this recipe at the following link parties:
Always a big favorite and recipe always requested. I just shared one for someone last week after the party.
And makes a nice colorful presentation. I loved it with the toasted baguettes.
Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life says
Hi Nicole. You had me at cream cheese. I need to figure out how to become friends with your family friend. She has awesome recipes. This is so beautiful for summer, but I can imagine serving it at Christmas too with the red and green colors. I think I’ll be making this over and over.
Nicole Crocker says
You’ll definitely fall in love with this recipe Christina! I know I did. You are right about this being a perfect appetizer for Christmas. In fact my friend sent me a text after I posted this to thank me and that’s exactly what she said. She always makes it during the Christmas season.