Mediterranean Chèvre Torta

Serves: 8 to 12 appetizer portions

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I serve this gorgeous appetizer with seasonal ingredients all year long but it is especially beautiful for a summer picnic. It is so simple to create and looks so elegant! Try adding toasted pine nuts, smoked salmon, tapenade or roasted garlic for a nice addition.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces chèvre cheese Add to list
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened Add to list
  • Small sprigs of fresh herbs (such as basil, thyme, rosemary or dill) Add to list
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil Add to list
  • 1/4 cup Cibo roasted red pepper pesto (or your favorite brand), drained well Add to list
  • 2 tablespoons capers Add to list
  • Fresh herb sprigs or edible flowers (such as lavender or nasturtiums), for garnish Add to list

Preparation

In a small bowl, combine the two cheeses. Set aside.

Line a small rounded bowl (like a deep cereal bowl) with plastic wrap. Arrange the herb sprigs (face down) in the bottom of the bowl.

(When you are done, the bowl will serve as your mold and you will invert the whole torta onto a serving plate. Thus the herb sprigs become the decoration. Play around with this. You are only limited by your imagination!)

Press one-third of the cheese mixture on top of the herbs and spread half of the chopped basil and all of the roasted red pepper pesto on top. Press another third of the cheese mixture on top of this, making sure it reaches out to the edges.

Form your next layer with the rest of the basil and add the capers and any other ingredients you like. Press on the last of the cheese, all the way to the edges, and refrigerate the mold for 1 to 2 hours or up to a day.

To serve:
Invert the mold onto a serving platter; remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Admire your artistry, then tuck a few sprigs of fresh herbs and maybe a blossom or two around the torta. Serve with great bread, Slow-roasted Heirloom Tomatoes and olives.

Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef

Source: PCC Fresh August 2009

Lynne Vea

ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea

Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.

Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.

She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.

Find more recipes from Lynne.

Learn more about our recipes. View guidelines »

More about: basil, cheese, herbs

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