Sun-Dried Tomato, Pesto, & Goat Cheese Torta

Oh appetizers, how I love thee.  I’m pretty convinced I could live on finger foods for the rest of my entire life.  I love snack foods, hors d’oeuvres, and anything little I can just stand around munching.  So when my family had a little get together last night and asked me to bring an appetizer, I was simply thrilled.  And given it’s the holidays and all, I knew this red, green, and white layered heap of goodness would be just the right thing!  It’s simple to make, pretty to look at, and easy to devour.

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I’ve made several takes of this simple layered cheese dish.  Sometimes I do many layers, sometimes just a few.  I had recently seen a recipe in Fine Cooking for something similar, so I based this version on the recipe I recently saw.  I modified a few things to make it work for me, but I have Fine Cooking to thank for the addition of pine nuts here!

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If you’d like, you can sprinkle pine nuts on every single layer, making it so they are visible in both the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.  I chose to put them on the bottom and top layers only… play around and see what you like best!

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I served this with some tasty gluten-free lentil crackers, but you could serve it with baguette slices, chips, or any kind of cracker you like!

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serves 8-10 as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

approx 12 oz goat cheese (plain)

9-10 sun-dried tomatoes, oils drained

3 tbsp pesto (homemade or store-bought)

1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (preference-based)

approx 1/4 cup milk, I use whole (cream will work, too)

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

drizzle extra-virgin olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

Begin by prepping the goat cheese… it needs a bit of seasoning

and a bit of thinning out to make it easily spreadable

Add about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper

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Add the milk, starting with about 1/8 cup first…

Stir it all together until creamy and smooth

Add more milk as needed

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Taste and adjust seasonings as desired

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Find a bowl that holds between 2 and 3 cups in size… the shape of the bowl will determine the shape of your torta

Choose tall and narrow or shallow and wide… I went with one sort of in the middle :)

Line with bowl with Saran wrap… leave some plastic wrap hanging off of the edges to seal it all later

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Roughly divide the cheese into thirds…

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Spread one-third of the cheese over the plastic wrap,

making sure it is evenly distributed across the surface of the bowl

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Top the cheese with about 3 tbsp pesto

Spread it evenly over the cheese, leaving a border of exposed cheese around the edge

(the pesto will spread as the next layers go on)

xmas!

The second layer of cheese goes next…

if you find that the cheese is a bit thick to smoothly

spread over the pesto (without getting all intermixed and messy),

simply add a little more milk to the cheese so it is thinner… this will help a lot!

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Finely dice the sun-dried tomatoes… drain any excess oil

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Sprinkle the tomatoes evenly over the cheese,

making sure to get them on the edges so they are visible when plated

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Then top them with the last layer of cheese

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To toast the pine nuts, place them in a pan over

medium heat and lightly toss around until golden brown

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Add some pine nuts to the cheese.. this will be the bottom layer

The majority will go over the top when it is flipped over

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Then wrap the cheese up completely in the plastic wrap, keeping a nice tight shape for it to mold

Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set

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About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve it, flip the cheese onto a

plate and then remove the Saran wrap carefully

(It needs a little time to soften, especially if it has been in the fridge for a long while)

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Drizzle the top with a little olive oil

Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts (or as many as you’d like) over the top of the cheese

Serve with your favorite crackers, bread, or chips…

Dig in and enjoy!!

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About Me
Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!
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