Tomato Basil Torta
Enjoy this colorful appetizer torta that is party perfect year-round. You'll find it especially lovely starring at your Christmas buffet.
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1⅓ cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and divided
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1½ cups firmly packed fresh basil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crackers or baguette slices
  1. Beat 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
  2. Process dried tomatoes in a food processor until chopped. Add 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, tomato paste, and ¼ teaspoon salt; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Spoon into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe container of food processor clean.
  3. Process garlic and next 4 ingredients in food processor until chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, remaining 3-ounce package cream cheese, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; pulse just until blended, stopping to scrape down sides.
  4. Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup butter mixture evenly on bottom of springform pan. Layer with half of tomato mixture, ½ cup butter mixture, and half of basil mixture; top with ½ cup butter mixture. Repeat layers with remaining tomato mixture, ½ cup butter mixture, and remaining basil mixture. Top with remaining butter mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 8 hours.
  5. Run a knife gently around edge of pan to loosen sides. Remove sides of pan; carefully remove bottom of pan, and place layered spread on a serving tray. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.
Recipe by Cheery Kitchen at