Pesto Cheese Ring Recipe

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With garlic and red pepper flakes, this rich cheese spread has an irresistible zing. It's perfect for parties because a little bit goes a long way. —Amy Cronwall, Stacy, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES:20-24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES: 20-24 servings

Ingredients

  • PARSLEY PESTO:
  • 3 cups fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 10 medium fresh basil leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • CHEESE RING:
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Additional parsley sprigs and chopped walnuts, optional
  • Assorted crackers or fresh vegetables

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the pesto ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth. Gradually add whipping cream and sugar. Stir in onion and red pepper flakes.
  2. Line a 6-cup ring mold with plastic wrap. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture into mold. Top with pesto and remaining cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Invert cheese ring onto a serving plate; remove plastic wrap. Smooth sides and top of ring with a wet knife. Garnish with parsley and nuts if desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables. Yield: 20-24 servings.
Originally published as Pesto Cheese Ring in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p32

This recipe pairs well with a light white wine.

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Reviewed Jul. 2, 2010

everyone could could not stop eating it --with crackers & veggies AND by itself!! absolutely delicious!

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