Pesto Cheese Appetizer


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and thoroughly dried
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry


1. Combine the cream cheese and Roquefort in a bowl, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine the spinach, parsley, basil, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube; continue processing until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the walnuts and Parmesan, and mix thoroughly.
3. Line a 5 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides.
4. Spread one third of the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Next, spread half the pesto mixture, and arrange a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Repeat the cheese, pesto, and tomato layers. Finish with the remaining third of the cheese mixture. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
5. To serve, allow the loaf to come just to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Invert it onto a platter, and provide a cheese-slicing knife. Have a basket of crackers and bread nearby.

Makes 6 to 8 portions

Credits: From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Workman Publishing.

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