Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pesto Cheese Blossom

We were invited to a Labor Day cookout at my parent's house. My Mom always has a huge spread of really delicious food. Her wonderful home cooking clearly had an influence on my love of cooking. My mom already had side dishes and desserts filled with her amazing potato salad, a sweet potato salad, corn and a delicious homemade banana pudding. Based on the well planned menu, I decided to bring an appetizer. This Paula Deen recipe has also been in my file for some time. I'll admit I always had some reservations about making it, worrying it wouldn't unmold properly or would take a lot of time to make. Turns out any such thoughts were completely unfounded. This was so simple to make and had a perfect presentation. This was a major hit at the cookout. I meant to get a picture of the whole thing before it was cut but I got busy and by the time I turned around almost half of it was gone! I know I will be making this one again and again. As for the potato salad recipe, I would love to share, but its our family recipe. I'm working on getting the banana pudding recipe and I'm sure I'll be featuring it in my blog soon!

Pesto Cheese Blossom
Source: Paula Deen/

1 (8-ounce) package sliced provolone cheese
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
20 pistachios, shelled
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhang to cover the top. Reserving 3 slices of the provolone, line the bottom and sides of the bowl with the remaining provolone, overlapping the slices. For the cream cheese layer, process the cream cheese, pistachios, and 1 of the garlic cloves in a food processor until blended; scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside. For the pesto layer, process the basil, parsley, pine nuts, and the remaining garlic clove in the food processor until blended. Dissolve the salt and pepper in the olive oil and mix well.

With the machine running, add the oil in a fine stream. Scrape this mixture into a second bowl and set aside. For the tomato layer, drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil. Puree the tomatoes with a small amount of the reserved oil in a food processor. Spread some of the cream cheese mixture over the cheese slices lining the bowl. Layer the pesto mixture, half of the remaining cream cheese mixture, the sun-dried tomato mixture, and then remaining cream cheese mixture in the bowl. Cover with the remaining provolone. Bring the edges of the plastic wrap together over the top and secure with a twist tie. Freeze until firm. Remove the plastic wrap and invert the mold onto a serving platter. Serve with party crackers.


Jaime said...

mmmm i love anything w/pesto!

Erin said...

This looks yummy! I've had something very similar to this several times before and I just love it! I've never made it myself, but I'd really like to!

Colleen said...

this looks amazing! i love these sorts of recipes because they always look so impressive.