Sarasota's Red, White & Green Cheese Torte

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READY IN: 24hrs 45mins
Recipe by SarasotaCook

Not sure what to call this...It's an old classic. I didn't come up with this, but I have added my touches over the years, but it is still a favorite. Now I love to make these in 3 small ramiken molds to put on a serving platter rather than 1 large mold (to me it is just a nice presentation), but any decorative bowl, or even just a nice round bowl. You just don't want a dish that is too narrow or deep as you are making layers. It is perfect for parties. Just make sure to serve a variety of crackers, toasted baguettes, vegetables, bagel chips, or just fresh breads and fruits to enjoy all the flavors. Note: using fresh pesto really helps if you have the ingredients. I make a basil pesto, but a good quality store bought or one from your local Deli will work just fine.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Sundried Tomatoes -- Just add the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, softened cream cheese to a small food processor and blend until all combined. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. You will still have some tomato bits but don't worry. Just transfer to a bowl and set to the side.
  2. Pesto Layer -- For home made pesto this is my recipe, but you can use your favorite made from scratch or you can also use a quality store bought pesto.
  3. 2 cups fresh basil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, salt to taste, pepper to taste. Add everything to your food processor and blend until creamy. Remove to a bowl and set to the side.
  4. Cheese Layer -- You can use a blender, but I just continue to use my food processor. Just mix room temp cream cheese and room temp butter, s/p and blend until creamy. Remove to a bowl and set to the side.
  5. Nut Layer -- Chop well, either with a small coffee grinder, food processor or just by hand. Anyway that works for you.
  6. Layers: In what ever dish you plan to serve this in, you want it fairly flat, not too deep and you don't won't something with not too many ridges or designs as you won't be able to notice any of that detail. Simply line the inside of your dish or bowl with plastic wrap - Nothing more. It is now ready to fill. This is why I like ramikens cuz you can get more layers.
  7. Note: I use a small baggie filled with the fillings to pipe on the layers. It is just so much easier. Then you can just use a spoon to spread out each layer. Make as many layers as your dish will hold. There is no right or wrong.
  8. I add a thin layer of nuts in between each layer which makes a great presentation, just a teaspoon or less per layer.
  9. Layer 1 for me is nuts (on the very bottom) - Layer 2 is tomato - Layer 3 is nuts - Layer 4 is pesto - Layer 5 nuts - Layer 6 cream cheese - Layer 7 - nuts. Repeat as often as you can to fill up the bowl or dish. Not too heavy on each layer. You should be able to get 2-3 layers for each ingredient.
  10. Finish -- Cover with plastic wrap right over the last later and then another piece on top. Chill at least 24 hours or longer.
  11. Serve -- Just remove the 2 top pieces of plastic wrap, put your serving dish on top of the bowl and flip. The torte will come right out. Just remove the wrap and top with a pretty piece of basil and all your crackers to serve with. ENJOY!

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