Thursday, August 19, 2010

Going For The Green

I'm joining Michael Lee's Foodie Friday over at Designs By Gollum, come join in!

Just the beginnings of the world's best Pesto Torta ..... my preference would be to just eat it
with a spoon, but it probably should be served with the bread rounds as recommended!

I first found this recipe in Sunset Magazine back in 1991 and have made it many times in
the intervening years.  It is always a huge success and never leftovers either!

Pesto Cheese Torta
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
4 ounces Cream Cheese
Pesto filling (either homemade or the recipe I use follows)
Fresh basil sprigs
Thin Baguette slices
Crisp raw veggies

With a mixer, beat ricotta and cream cheese until well blended.
Smoothly line a clean NEW 2cup flower pot with two layers of
moistened wrung-dry cheesecloth or muslin, draping cloth over rim.
(I have used the flower pot method, but prefer a pretty vintage
copper mold. When using a mold, it takes more time to make sure the
cheese mixture is firmly pressed into all the cavities)

With a spoon, press 1/4 of the cheese mixture evenly into the container.
Press 1/3 of the pesto onto the cheese layer, repeat, ending with a layer
of cheese. (You may also add a layer of sun dried tomatoes, but I prefer
just the cheese and pesto layers.)  Fold the edges of the cloth smoothly
over the cheese.  Cover airtight and chill up to a day ahead. To unmold
fold the cloth back and invert on a large serving plate, gently lift off the
cheesecloth. Dress with basil sprigs, cut up veggies and bread slices.

Pesto filling -
In a blender or food processor, pulse 2 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil
leaves (discard the stems), 1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon olive oil,
and just enough water (about 1-2 tablespoons) to make a smooth paste. Remove
from processor and stir in pine nuts and salt to taste.  The original recipe called
for 1/4 cup pine nuts, but I use about 1/2 cup.

This is the absolute best!

And since it is all about the green and white torta, I'm going with a
very green and white table setting.

Vintage tablecloth topped with Post86 Fiesta in Shamrock, Lemongrass and Chartreuse.
White chargers are Imported from China, flatware and napkins from Home Goods, vintage depression glassware, napkin rings were a thrift store find.

Also shown is some vintage white Rosenthal "Medallion" and a vintage Harlequin ball jug.

Now its time for that Pesto Torta!


  1. Stunning post - every photo is more beautiful than the one before! Fabulous kitchen too!!


  2. Wonderful dishes!!!!! Always surprising!Everyday I follow your blog, I love it.Hugs.

  3. OMG...very very beautiful.Love from Turkey...

  4. Oh, I'm GREEN with envy over some of the details on this table. Love those ceramic napkin rings and the layers of plates starting with that magnificent charger. Your tables never fail to leave me feeling cheerful. Thanks! ~ Sarah

  5. Beautiful table! I love those adorable napkin rings.

  6. Such a beautiful table and your kitchen is lovely too. Love the island and those sweet napkin rings.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  7. What a fabulous and summery table. I LOVE the napkin rings!!!! All the green white and the veggies looks perfect for August in the garden!
    Your torta is speaking my love language! I am certainly going to make this lucious sounding recipe. Delicious! Anything with pesto in it is my favorite.
    What a stunning post!

  8. So beautiful. I would love to sit down here for a meal.

  9. Always so gorgeous!! I LOVE those veggie napkins rings!


  10. I really like this tablesetting, the recipe sounds yummy too. I love pesto and I have a plant full of basil leaves just waiting to be picked and used. I am looking for plates with color so that I can add variety to my table settings. Yours was fun to look at.

  11. Thanks everyone for coming by ..... the torta can be eaten with a spoon also, if you want to forgo the bread!! LOL And it smells just so very very yummy too.



Thank you for your lovely comments.

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