sun-dried tomato and pesto torta

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category: [side]

  4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
 1/4 cup pine nuts
  2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 2/3 cups cream cheese, room temp (about 21 oz)
 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 butter, room temp
      nonstick vegetable oil spray
      fresh basil sprigs
      toasted pine nuts
      baguette slices, toasted

Freshly chop garlic in processor. 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 blended. Transfer pesto to medium bowl.

Coarsely chop tomatoes in processor. Add tomato paste and process until almost smooth. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and blend well.

Using mixer, beat 2 cups cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Season with salt & pepper.

Spray 6-cup souffle dish with non-stick spray. Line with plastic wrap, extending plastic over sides. Spread 3/4 cup cc/b mix evenly over bottom of prepared dish. Top with half of tomato mix, then 1/2 cup cc/b mix, then half of pesto mix. Repeat layering with 1/2 cup cc/b mix, remaining tomato mix, 1/2 cup cc/b mix, and remaining pesto. Top with remaining cc/b mix. Cover and chill overnight.

Invert torta onto platter. Peel off plastic. Garnish with basil sprigs and toasted pine nuts. Serve with baguette slices.

source: Bon Appetit, 12/99