Pesto-Red Pepper Cream Cheese Torte

Pesto-Red Pepper Cream Cheese Torte
Yield: 5 cups Prep 45 mins Chill 3 hrs Cook 3 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
  • Fresh basil leaves and tomato roses, for garnish (optional)
  • slices of party breads, crackers or pita chips

Make It

1. Beat softened cream cheese in large bowl until light and fluffy. Divide into thirds.

2. For pesto, combine basil, pine nuts and garlic in food processor. Whirl until finely chopped.

3. Stir basil mixture into a third of the cream cheese along with Parmesan cheese until well blended.

4. Place red peppers in clean food processor bowl. Whirl until pureed. Transfer to small skillet. Whisk in cornstarch until well blended and smooth. Bring to simmering over medium heat; cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Cool for 15 minutes. Whisk into another third of cream cheese until well blended.

5. Mix green onion into the remaining third of cream cheese until blended.

6. Line 6-cup bowl with plastic wrap, leaving 2-inch overhang.

7. Turn pesto into lined bowl; pack firmly. Spoon on green onion mixture; carefully spread to cover pesto layer. Top with red pepper layer, spreading to completely cover onion layer. Cover the top with the plastic wrap overhang. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until firm.

8. Fold back the plastic wrap; unmold onto serving plate. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sweet red pepper roses if desired. Serve with thin slices of party bread, crackers or pita chips. Makes 5 cups.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 27, Fat, total (g): 2, chol. (mg): 7, carb. (g): 1, pro. (g): 1, sodium (mg): 44, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.