Beat 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
Process dried tomatoes in a food processor until chopped. Add 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, tomato paste, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Spoon into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe container of food processor clean.
Process garlic and next 4 ingredients in food processor until chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, remaining 3-ounce package cream cheese, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse just until blended, stopping to scrape down sides.
Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup butter mixture evenly on bottom of springform pan. Layer with half of tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and half of basil mixture; top with 1/2 cup butter mixture. Repeat layers with remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and remaining basil mixture. Top with remaining butter mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 8 hours.
Run a knife gently around edge of pan to loosen sides. Remove sides of pan; carefully remove bottom of pan, and place layered spread on a serving tray. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.
I have been making this appetizer ever since it first appeared. Fabulous, fabulous. I make it after I make all my pesto in Sept. which I freeze in 1 c containers reserving 2 c. Then I make 2 batches of this recipe--1 c of reserved pesto ea batch--in loaf dishes, cutting each in half when set up and freezing all four giving me four go-to appetizers throughout the year. I serve it w/ bagel chips. Everyone asks for this recipe, even my friend, a cooking school instructor. Leftovers good melted on pasta. I buy all ingredients at Costco.
It took some extra time to find the 6-inch spring form pan and assemble all of the layers but it was well worth it. I took it to a Christmas party last night on a raised glass cake plate...lovely presentation and a big hit with the partygoers. The fresh pesto was well worth the effort. After each layer, I put it the freezer to firm up the current layer so the next layer would spread more easily without mixing the colors. After removing the ring, I took a thin spatula and scraped around the edges to clean up the layers. Since it was still on the metal plate from the spring form pan, I put a little piece of rubber matting underneath so it wouldn't slide around on the glass plate. There was plenty of room around the edge of the plate for crackers. I will definitely make this again but maybe a day earlier next time.
Awesome! A new family tradition at our home! That being said, it is a bit pricey to make (but so worth it!) and time consuming to assemble. I did not have a small springform pan, so I used a large coffee can, cut out the. Ottom and taed it back on before assembling. I sprayed it with oil, as suggested and used a paper plate, cut the same size as the can to gently push it ou after placing a hot towel around the can for about a minute. It worked fine and since it was slightly smaller than the springform pan, it was taller which I liked. I agree with the suggestion to add more cream cheese. I had 3 eight ounce packages and added the extra 2 ounces to the cream cheese/butter mixture. Wish they allows 10 stars for this one!
This is always a big hit. Flavorful, pretty and easy to make. It's a holiday tradition now. Serve with any kind of cracker. We like the thin water crackers best so as not to compete with the tomato and basil.
This is a hit at the holidays. However; I have found some ways to make it easier since the directions are a bit misleading. Use cooking spray in the small spring pan. The white layer is difficult to work with so I spray cooking spray onto wax paper to smooth out the layers. I add extra cream cheese to the basil pesto layer.
My sister made this, who does not cook a whole lot, and it was delicious, very easy to assemble she thought. And of course if can be made ahead of time. That will be very handy for me this Thanksgiving!
This is a really yummy recipe, and a big hit with guests. The only complaint I have with the directions is that it took me way longer than 25 minutes to make, because I kept having to wait for the layers to set up before I could put on the next one. Now that I know that, I'll work on something else at the same time, instead of just staring at it in frustration. Still worth the work, though, because it looks great when you're done. I see someone used storebought pesto, which would be alright, but making it from scratch made it taste so much more fresh. I wouldn't skip that step.
I made this twice for holiday occasions and it has gotten rave reviews both times- it makes a lot, so it's perfect for large groups. 6-in springform pans were sold out, so I used a 7-inch souffle ramekin and lined it with parchment paper- awkward, but it did the trick. Delicious and keeps well!
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!