06 January 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato + Spinach Torta

We hosted a baby shower for one of my best friends over the holidays. It was a joyful occasion and I'm just counting down the hours until I get a phone call from Katie letting me know that her little bundle of joy has arrived! I saw this gorgeous sun-dried tomato and spinach torta on Pinterest and knew I just had to make it for the baby shower. It is a wonderful appetizer to make in advance and it serves a huge crowd. I paired it with gourmet fruit and nut crisps, but I bet it would be wonderful with fresh veggies or crostini too!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Torta
(Adapted from the Gallery Gourmet)
Yield: 15+ Servings

4 (8 oz) Packages Cream Cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated
3/4 C. Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced or grated on a micro-plane
1 C. Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with a paper towel
1 C. Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil, chopped, plus a few extra for garnish
1 C. Pine Nuts, raw or toasted
1/2 C. Basil Pesto, homemade or store-bought

In a bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, Parmesan, feta and garlic on medium speed. Divide the mixture into thirds. In a separate bowl, combine one-third of the cheese mixture with the spinach; set aside. Line an 8-inch round cake pan, bowl or spring-form pan with plastic wrap. Spread one-third of the cheese mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then, lay half of the sun-dried tomatoes on top. Spread the spinach/cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes. Lay the remaining tomatoes on top of the spinach mixture. Top with the remaining cheese mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Remove plastic wrap on the top. Invert the torta onto a serving platter and carefully remove the plastic wrap. Press the pine nuts on the sides to cover (as seen in the picture). Spread the pesto on top and garnish with extra sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with crackers, crudites or costini.

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