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Pesto Cheese Ring Recipe

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 YIELD: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.

Wine Pairings

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.