Mediterranean Cheese Torta

One day I was perusing a holiday food catalog and saw miniature cheese tortas were being sold for $35 each! I thought that was pretty exorbitant so i created my own lavish tortas to use for entertaining and for holiday gift giving. These were a hit and I discovered that they could be made in advance and frozen in an airtight wrapper until I needed them. Tortas are easy to make although a little time consuming. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 10 sun-dried tomato halves
  • 3 ½ ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained
  • 20 pitted calamata olives
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola or other blue veined cheese
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation Instructions

  1. Lightly grease 1 four cup mold or 5-6 ramekins. Line the mold(s) with plastic wrap or cheesecloth and set aside.
  2. You will need to use your processor three times, rinsing thoroughly in between each use.
  3. Combine the first five ingredients in the processor workbowl and process until a smooth paste is formed. Pour the mixture into the four cup mold or divide evenly among the ramekins. Rinse the workbowl.
  4. Combine the Gorgonzola with the Mascarpone and cream cheese in the processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Pour mixture evenly over the sun-dried tomato mixture in the mold(s). Rinse out the bowl.
  5. Combine the basil with the garlic and oil in the processor workbowl and process until a fairly smooth paste is formed. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined and smooth and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Pour this mixture over the other layers and smooth evenly. Cover with plastic wrap until firm.
  6. When ready to serve or package for gifts, unmold and carefully remove plastic wrap.
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