P: Pesto Cheese Torta
Kathryn’s made this dish for the food contest at the herb festival with cilantro. You can prepare it with either cilantro or basil.
Cilantro Pesto Cheese Torta
Kathryn Dye, of Northridge, won 1st place with this fabulous appetizer at the 2nd Herb Festival at Memorial Park in Upland, California. Kathryn has many creative talents and her herbal cooking is certainly one of my favorites!
Pesto Cheese Torta:
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese 4 oz. Neufchatel (light cream cheese) pesto filling (see below) fresh herb sprigs thin baguette slices Crisp raw vegetables
With mixer, beat ricotta and Neufchatel until well blended. Smoothly line a clean unused, tall 2cup flower pot with a double layer of moistened and wrung dry cheesecloth (or 1 layer moistened muslin). Cloth should drape over rim.
With a spoon, press ¼ of the cheese evenly into bottom of pot. Press 1/3 of the pesto onto the cheese. Repeat, finishing with the last layer of cheese. Fold edges of cloth smoothly over cheese. Cover airtight and chill at least 2 hours or until the next day. Fold cloth back and invert torta onto a small plate. Gently lift off cheesecloth. If made ahead, cover airtight and chill up to 1 day. Garnish with herb sprigs. Spread on bread and vegetables.
Makes about 2 cups. 7-8 appetizer servings.
In a blender or food processor, whirl:
2 ½ cups lightly packed fresh herb (cilantro or basil)
1 cup (about 5 oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Enough water (1-2 TBS). to make a smooth paste
Stir in ¼ cup pine nuts and season with salt to taste.
This recipe is from Herb Store Favorites. Until April 30th, A to Z bloggers (and other readers) can get a copy of Herb Store Favorites for FREE. Follow the link here and check out with the Coupon Code below. You can download the book for other favorite herbal recipes.
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