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Pesto Cheese Blossom

 Pesto Cheese Blossom
With colorful layers, this pretty spread is a real attention-getter of holiday gatherings. I like the convenience of making it ahead of time.
24 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 9 slices provolone cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • PESTO LAYER:
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Assorted crackers

Directions

  • Line a 1-qt. bowl with plastic wrap, overlapping the sides of the
  • bowl. Arrange six cheese slices on the bottom and up the sides of
  • the bowl, overlapping each slice; set aside.
  • Drain tomatoes, reserving 3 teaspoons oil mixture. In a food
  • processor, combine tomatoes and reserved oil mixture; cover and
  • process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
  • Place cream cheese, pistachios and garlic in the food processor;
  • cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl; set

2 of 2

Pesto Cheese Blossom (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • aside.
  • Add the pine nuts, basil, parsley, salt and pepper to food processor;
  • cover and process until blended. While processing, add oil; process
  • for 15 seconds or until combined. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • Spread a third of the cream cheese mixture over provolone cheese in
  • prepared bowl. Layer with pesto mixture, another third of the cream
  • cheese mixture, tomato mixture and remaining cream cheese mixture.
  • Top with remaining provolone slices.
  • Bring edges of plastic wrap together over cheese; press down gently
  • to seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm. Open
  • plastic wrap; invert mold onto a serving plate. Serve with crackers.
  • Yield: 24 servings.