1 lb. cream cheese
1 lb. unsalted butter
Approximately 3 cups pesto
Cheesecloth; cut 2 18” squares
Bring cream cheese and unsalted butter to room temperature and beat together very well.
Moisten cheesecloth with water and ring out excess water. Line a 5-6 cup straight sided mold or casserole dish with the cheesecloth.
Divide mixture into 6 portions. You will start with the cream cheese mixture first and end with the cream cheese mixture.
After you have completed all layers, fold end of cheesecloth over torta and press lightly down with fingers. REFRIGERATE 1 hour or more. (May be made a day in advance)
To remove cheesecloth, open up and invert onto serving platter and remove cheesecloth immediately.
Serve with fresh French bread.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
The most time consuming part of making pesto is cleaning and gathering the basil. One large bunch of basil from the farmer's market yesterday, after cleaning and stemming, weighs in at 3 ounces. This is a little more than 3 cups of basil, gently packed. This recipe yields about a cup of basil pesto.
In our food processor, we put the garlic, actually just 1.5 cloves since the garlic is a bit old and we need to cut off a bit, the pine nuts, and the salt and grind up for about 10 seconds. Next, we add the basil and pulse about 10 times until the basil is chopped. Then we turn on the processor and stream in half the oil. We turn off the processor and scrape down the pesto. We drizzle in another 2 tablespoons of oil with the machine on and then we are ready. We put half of the pesto in a resealable plastic container and stir in the cheese. The remaining pesto we put in an ice cube tray for future use. We want to freeze it without any cheese, and then when we defrost the cubes we will need to add parmesan. We pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the pesto in the ice cube tray and the plastic container. We refrigerate the container to be used over the next week and freeze the ice cube tray. When the cubes are frozen (we only have the tray half-way filled), we place them into a freezer bag.