Layered Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Spread

When I saw this recipe, I just could not stop looking at the picture.   It was very pretty and I decided that I had to make it, even though I did not own a 6-inch spring form pan.  But hey, it gave me an excuse to go to Hobby Lobby to find this pan :).  Although the list of the ingredients is quite lengthy, don’t be afraid to make it.  I actually cheated and used a commercial made pesto and skipped the step of making your own pesto, simply because I already had a jar of pesto in my pantry.

The ingredients were cream cheese, butter, pesto, sun-dried tomato, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and rosemary for garnish.

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I was able to nuke the cream cheese to soften it up based on the packaging directions.  Two packages of cream cheese required about 25 seconds in the microwave to be softened.

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I just put them on a plate lined with plastic wrap, and they were ready to go!

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Then I put the softened cream cheese, softened butter, salt and pepper into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

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Using a mixer, I beat it at medium speed.  Until they were all incorporated.

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In a food processor – note that I was using my 3-cup food processor here.  If you have a larger capacity food processor, I would suggest that you use the larger one.  I put the drained, sun-dried tomato into the processing bowl.

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I processed the sun-dried tomato until they turn into pieces.  Then I added the cream cheese and tomato paste.

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And processed it until everything was combined.

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Then, the easiest part of the process, open the jar of pesto! 🙂

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Then I was ready to start layering the dip.  The spring form pan I ended up buying was two of the 4.5-inch one instead of the 6-inch one.  I was able to make the layered spread or dip in both of the pans, and with a left over that I made into a small trifle dish.  I lined the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and sprayed the inside of the pan with vegetable spray, Then I scooped about 1/4 cup of cream cheese mixture and dropped it into the pan.

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After I spread the cream cheese mixture evenly, I then added the sun-dried tomato mixture.

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Spread it evenly…

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Then added the cream cheese mixture again…

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Added the pesto…

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And added the cream cheese mixture again.  This part was the hardest part of making this layered dip.  The pesto was thin and spreading the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of it was very difficult.  It was probably easier if I had mixed the pesto and cream cheese to thicken it up, or just simply followed the recipe and made the pesto mixture.

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Then I added the sun-dried tomato mixture again…

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Spread it evenly….

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The last of the pesto was next, which I forgot to take a picture.  And lastly, cream cheese mixture to top it off.  I covered the layered dip with plastic wrap and it went into the refrigerator.

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And I was done! After I made the second layered spread, the leftovers went into this small trifle dish.

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On Thankgsiving day, about an hour and half before the family started to arrive, I pulled out the layered dip from the refrigerator and popped open the pan.  I did not need to loosen the edges with a knife.  Then I lifted the bottom with a butter knife and slide the layered dip onto the serving dish.

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For the second pan, I had taped a piece of parchment paper to the round cutout parchment paper for the bottom of the pan.  This piece of parchment paper that stuck out of the bottom one really made things easier.  I’m was able to pull the piece of paper and lifted the layered dip.

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I dressed it up with rosemary and pieces of sun-dried tomato and it was ready!

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I placed crackers with one and roasted garlic – mini bagel chips with the other.  I really like this dip, it tasted great.  The combination of cream cheese, tomato and basil was just plain delicious.  If you are looking for a festive appetizer, this one will not disappoint you!

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Print recipe here.

Layered Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Spread
Recipe courtesy: Southern Living

Ingredients:

For cream cheese mixture:
2- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For pesto:
1 -10 oz of pesto
1 – 3 oz cream cheese

or, if you choose to make your own:
1 – 3 oz cream cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups of firmly packed fresh Basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For sun-dried tomato mixture:
1 1/3 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained ( about 1 1/2jar of 8.5 oz jar)
1 – 3 oz package cream cheese
1/3 cup tomato paste

Preparation:

For cream cheese mixture:
Beat cream cheese, butter, salt, and pepper with a mixer in a medium speed until well blended. Set aside.

For pesto mixture:
If using jar pesto: mix pesto and cream cheese together.
If making your own: In a food processor, process garlic, fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and lemon juice until chopped. Then add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and salt, pulse until the mixture is well blended. Set aside.

For sun-dried tomato mixture:
Process sun-dried tomato, cream cheese, tomato paste and salt in a food processor until well blended.

Create a round parchment paper cutout of the bottom of the spring form pan. Tape a piece of long string of parchment paper to the round cutout so it creates a holder where the layered dip can be easily lifted from the bottom of the pan.

Line a six inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Spray the inside of the spring form pan with cooking spray.

Spread 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture at the bottom of the pan. Layered with half of sun-dried tomato mixture. Layered with 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the pesto mixture, spread it evenly.

Spread 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture. Spread with the remaining of sun-dried tomato mixture.
Add the remaining pesto, spread evenly. And lastly, top with cream cheese mixture.

Wrap in saran wrap and chill at least 8 hours.

Garnish with fresh rosemary and pieces of sun-dried tomato.

Serve with crackers or garlic mini bagel chips.

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