A few years ago I started making a layered cheese dip that was perfect for the Christmas season because of its colors: red, green, and white. In addition to making an incredibly beautiful presentation with the poinsettia-like flower on top, this was also very delicious and fabulous to make in advance. By layering sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves on the bottom of your mold for this dish, you can create the beautiful flower it is named for.
It would be very easy to change the recipe to include other ingredients. You could substitute roasted peppers for the sun dried tomatoes and create a different flavor profile.
Poinsettia Cheese Torta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 30
Per Serving 145 calories
Fat 13 g
Carbs 3 g
Protein 5 g
A wonderful make ahead appetizer idea. This recipe creates enough to feed a crowd.
Choose a bowl or loaf pan that will hold 8 cups to be your mold. Line this container with plastic wrap going left to right with a few inches of overhang on each side. Line mold again with another piece of plastic wrap that is perpendicular to the first piece, with overhang. Spray with olive oil.
Cut sun-dried tomatoes into large pieces to resemble petals and arrange them to look like a flower in the center of the bottom of the mold. Place basil leaves on top of the arranged "petals".
In a food processor or blender combine the remaining sun dried tomatoes and garlic chili sauce and chop to form a paste. Set aside.
Drain any excess moisture from the ricotta cheese. In the work bowl of your food processor combine ricotta, cream cheese, garlic, pepper, green onions, and parsley. Blend until smooth.
Carefully layer the cheese mixture in the prepared mold until the container is filled to about 1/3 of it's depth. Top with the basil pesto.
Add another layer of the cheese mixture until depth is 2/3 of the mold. Top with the prepared sun dried tomato paste.
Fill bowl with the remaining cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. To serve uncover torta and invert onto a platter, using the plastic wrap to remove it from the mold. Enjoy with crackers, pita chips, or vegetables.