Artichoke Pesto Torta

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyMedium
1 (13 to 395g) tin whole artichoke hearts, rinsed well, drained, and patted dry
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
¼ cup plus 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 (225g) package cream cheese, room temperature
Nonstick cooking spray
Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish
Assorted breads and crackers, to serve
Assorted cut-up fresh vegetables, to serve (such as bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, endive leaves, and carrots)
Blend the artichokes, parsley, nuts, lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the artichokes are very finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually pour in 1/4 cup oil. Continue blending until the pesto is creamy. Season the pesto, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Spray a 2 to 3 cup bowl with nonstick spray. Line the bowl with cling film, extending the plastic over the sides. Spread enough cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared bowl to form a 1/2-inch layer. Top with enough pesto to form a 1/2-inch layer. Repeat layering the remaining cream cheese mixture and pesto. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Invert the torta onto a platter and remove the plastic. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve with bread, crackers, and vegetables.

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