from Molly Beverly
Soft cheese layered with green herb and garlic paste. Simple to prepare; allow extra time for complete chilling. Serves 18 as an appetizer.
8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (a lower fat cream cheese)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh large basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts (I substitute walnuts)
2-3 small cloves garlic
Salt to taste
pine nuts, strips of red pepper and/or black olives
Combine Nuefchâtel and ricotta cheese and chill for 3 hours or more.
Meanwhile make the pesto. Place basil leaves in a colander. Cover with boiling water for 5 seconds, then drain completely and pat dry. Place in blender with olive oil, cheese, pine nuts, garlic and just enough water to make it run smoothly.
Blend until very smooth and thick. Add salt to taste. Chill.
To assemble spread half the cheese mixture in a 9X5-inch loaf pan. Brush with olive oil and cover with half of the pesto. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Cover this with the rest of the cheese. Brush with olive oil and layer the rest of the pesto. Sprinkle with pine nuts and decorate with strips of red pepper and black olives.
Refrigerate 12-24 hours before serving. Serve with slices of good French bread and raw vegetables.