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Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Torta (Holiday Cheese Ball)

Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Torta (Holiday Cheese Ball)

Looking for the perfect holiday appetizer recipe? Make this easy, yet elegant Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Torta, or Holiday Cheese Ball!
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 -12
Author Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package garlic herb goat cheese
  • 1 (7-ounce) container prepared basil pesto
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Basil or parsley leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor. Cover and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

  2. Line a 5-inch wide (at top) bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap firmly to the sides and bottom of the bowl and leaving several inches of plastic wrap hanging over the edges of the bowl (you may need several pieces of plastic wrap to do this). Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray.

  3. Spoon about half of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the bowl; smooth top with spatula. Spoon pesto evenly over cheese layer. Spoon half of the remaining cheese mixture over the pesto layer; smoothing the cheese with a spatula. Spoon sun-dried tomatoes evenly over second layer of cheese. Spoon remaining cheese mixture over tomatoes, smoothing cheese with a spatula. Gently tap the filled bowl on the counter to pack down.
  4. Cover the top of the cheese with the overhanging plastic wrap and add additional plastic wrap, if needed, to cover tightly. Refrigerate cheese torta for 6-8 hours, before serving.

  5. Right before serving, place pine nuts in a small sauté pan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pine nuts are golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. When ready to serve, unwrap plastic from the top of the bowl. Turn bowl upside down onto a serving platter or plate and remove plastic wrap. Press toasted pine nuts onto the sides of the torta (to cover the layers) and top with fresh basil leaves. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.