*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
         Basil cheese torta with red bell pepper strips & pine nuts
 Recipe By     :
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Appetizers                       Vegetarian
                 Oriental                         Sauces
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1/2   lb           Cream cheese -- softened
    4       tb           Butter -- softened
      3/4   c            Basil pesto
      1/2   lb           Provolone, thinly sliced
      1/4   c            Toasted pine nuts
    1                    Red bell pepper -- roasted,
                         -- peeled, seeded, and
                         -- cut into 3 x 3/8 strips
    1       sm           Jar sun-dried tomatoes
                         -- (packed in olive oil)
                         Fresh basil for garnish
   Mix cream cheese and butter with a fork; add pesto and mix well.      Line
 a small (3-cup) loaf pan or bowl with plastic wrap, leaving several   inches
 of overhang on each side.  Make a thin layer of provolone slices on   the
 bottom and partially up the sides.  Spread 1/3 of the pesto mixture   over
 the cheese; artistically arrange 2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes, 4-6 bell
 pepper strips, and about 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts over the pesto.
 Repeat layers until all ingredients are used (reserving some of the pine
 nuts to sprinkle on top), pressing down well between layers.  Chill
 overnight or for several days.  Serve at room temperature on a platter
 wreathed with fresh basil sprigs.  Additional toasted pine nuts, sun-dried
 tomatoes cut into flowers, red bell pepper strips, and fresh basil sprigs
 may be used as garnish.      NOTE: Torta may be presented inverted or not.
 Keeps several weeks   refrigerated.  Although best served at room
 temperature, it slices best   chilled.  I like to serve it on a platter
 adorned with grape leaves and   small clusters of red and white grapes.
 VARIATIONS: =========== Use lemon pesto; substitute slivered toasted
 almonds for the pine nuts; omit the sun-dried tomatoes and add 1 teaspoon
 lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture.      Use purple pesto; omit the red
 pepper if desired and increase the sun-dried   tomatoes.      Use cinnamon
 basil pesto; omit the sun-dried tomatoes and the red peppers   if desired,
 and use pecans instead of pine nuts.      Source: The Herb Garden Cookbook,
 by Lucinda Hutson Typed for you by Karen   Mintzias  
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