Friday, March 19, 2010

Basil Parmesan Spread

• 1 cup chopped fresh spinach

• 1 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
• 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste


1. In a food processor, blend the spinach, basil and garlic. Gradually mix in the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Blend cream cheese and feta cheese in a medium bowl.

3. Line a separate medium bowl with plastic wrap. Spread 1/2 the cream cheese mixture in the bowl. Top with sun-dried tomato paste and the spinach mixture. Cover with remaining cream cheese mixture. Pat together, cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. Flip out of the plastic lined bowl onto a medium serving dish to serve.

Review: Made as directed, it looks and tastes spectacular, and is easy easy easy. It's not for wimpy palates though: the flavours are robust! I made 1 1/2 times the amount of cheese mixture and used a little more of the tomato to yield two bowls. A note to people who are doubtful about the sundried tomato: even though ordinary tomato paste is indeed cheaper, the flavour can in no way compared to sundried tomato paste or pate. Dry-packed (ie. in a packet, not in a jar in oil) dried tomatoes are CHEAP, and you're far better off using those. Simply place them in a bowl, cover with boiling water, allow to soak until soft and swollen, then drain and wizz in the food processor with good olive oil, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper, and a few olives and/or capers if you like. Extremely delicious, inexpensive, and better than anything you could buy - particularly ordinary tomato paste!

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