Are you looking for a fabulous appetizer? This is it! One of my absolute favorites because the Mediterranean flavors are so delicious–but it can be prepared several days ahead, making it so convenient! I’ve even made it several weeks ahead and frozen it–then thawing before serving.
To make it, I first make three different layers of filling…and line a pan with plastic wrap, leaving a good amount of plastic wrap overhanging the pan.
I mix up the ingredients for each layer in the food processor and put them into bowls. The first layer will be divided into thirds, and the green and red layers will be divided in halves. Begin by spooning a third of the white layer (first layer) into the plastic-wrap-lined pan…
This is perhaps the most difficult layer to spread because the plastic wrap wants to lift up away from the pan. But just stay steady and don’t be a perfectionist! On top of the creamy white layer, spread half of the green, pesto layer…
Next, spread half of the red (third) layer…
And then repeat those three layers…white, green then red…
The final layer is the rest of the white layer…like frosting on a cake…
Once the final layer is spread out over the sun-dried tomatoes, just lift up the edges of the plastic wrap so it is all enclosed…
Your appetizer can go into the fridge for an hour (it needs some time to set), a day, or five days. I like to bring it to room temperature before unwrapping the top plastic wrap and turning it over onto a platter. The plastic wrap will peel right off, and voila! This delicious appetizer with Mediterranean flavors and Italian colors is ready to enjoy on crackers or thin slices of Italian bread.
Don’t feel “locked into” a loaf pan! Though it’s a little more difficult to evenly divide up the filling into other shaped pans, try it! I used heart-shaped pans for my daughter’s wedding in keeping with the theme of love. And because the colors also go so well with Christmas, last year I made a number of these appetizers in my large muffin tins putting one on each of the ten tables at our Christmas banquet surrounded by crackers.
So that’s how to make this delicious Mediterranean appetizer…and here’s the recipe for the three layers. Enjoy!
- 1 pkg. (8 oz./200 g) cream cheese
- 1/2 C. (2 oz. /50 g) feta cheese
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
- 1 C. loosely packed spinach leaves (rinsed and dried)
- 3/4 C. loosely packed parsley (preferably Italian, flat-leaf)
- 1/4 C. loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 1/4 C. (50 g) chopped walnuts
- 1 C. (40 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 C. (60 ml) olive oil
- 1-1 1/2 C. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (drained from olive oil)
- Crumble feta cheese and mix with cream cheese. Add in finely chopped artichokes. Set aside.
- Combine spinach, parsley, basil, garlic, walnuts, and Parmesan in food processor. Process until smooth. Drizzle olive oil in feed tube. Set aside.
- Chop sun-dried tomatoes–either in a food processor or by hand.
- Line loaf pan(s) with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over sides. Spread one third of the white mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Next, spread half the pesto mixture and arrange a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Repeat layers. Cover with overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. You can store in the fridge for up to five days.
- Invert onto a platter 30 minutes before serving and serve with crackers or bread.
If you enjoyed this recipe you might want to purchase the PDF version of Debbie’s cookbook Around Our Table, a great way to keep your recipes handy no matter where you are in the world. For more information, go to http://ciaofromdebbie.
For additional recipes, please visit: http://ciaofromdebbie.com