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Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread

Make this festive top-rated holiday dip recipe up to 3 days before the party. The colorful layers make it a fun addition to any appetizer buffet.

Southern Living NOVEMBER 2005

  • Yield: Makes 20 servings
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes
  • Chill: 8 Hours

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and divided
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crackers or baguette slices

Preparation

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.

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