Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins
This mold is especially pretty to serve during the holidays. The pesto is different because it uses shelled sunflower seed kernels instead of pine nuts. Serve with assorted crackers or baguette toasts.Chilling time is not included in prep time. From The Cook's Exchange Readers' Best Recipes section of an April 1984 issue of Bon Appetit.
For Sunflower Seed Pesto
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 cups fresh basil, firmly packed
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (shelled kernels)
For Tomato-Pesto Cheese Mold (use 1 cup sunflower pesto sauce)
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups butter, room temperature (4 sticks)
- 1⁄2 cup sun-dried tomato, drained
- cooking spray
- For Pesto.
- With processor running, drop garlic through feed tube and mince finely.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Transfer to small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For Mold.
- Mix cream cheese and butter in processor or large bowl of electric mixer, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, until well blended.
- Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture in bottom of 7-cup mold that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Layer tomatoes over cheese.
- Cover with 1/3 of cheese mixture, spreading evenly.
- Spread with pesto.
- Add remaining cheese mixture, spreading evenly.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight (preferable).
- Unmold onto platter and serve at room temperature.
Here is what I did: I made the recipe as directed, but I used a premade pesto sauce. So, I can't comment on the taste for that portion. Personally, I didn't really care for the taste of the cream cheese mixture. It tasted a little too buttery for me and just needed "something." I also molded this as the recipe directed. It would not unmold. It was an absolute disaster. I used a ton of cooking spray in the bowl to prevent this, but it still stuck. I had to dig it out with a spatula. So, it didn't look as pretty as it should have. My advice is to spray the bowl, line it with plastic wrap, spray the wrap, then place the ingredients inside. I think that would work. I took this to a baby shower and it was a great hit. I had several requests for the recipe. I will make this again, but next time I'll add something to the cheese filling! Thanks so much for sharing!