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updated: 8/31/2011 8:03 AM

Sun dried Tomato Pesto Spread

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8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 ounces goat cheese

2 cloves garlic, pressed

cup pine nuts

4 ounces prepared pesto (I like to drain off some of the oil)

4 ounces oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 baguette, thinly sliced, or crackers

In small bowl or food processor, combine cream cheese, goat cheese and garlic until smooth.

Toast pine nuts in skillet on top of stove until golden.

Line a 4-cup mold or bowl with plastic wrap. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pine nuts in bowl. Spoon one-third of cheese into the bowl, spreading evenly. Carefully spread with pesto on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. Add another one-third of the cheese mixture; sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with remaining pine nuts. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours.

To serve, unmold and serve with sliced French bread or crackers.

Serves 12 to 15.

About this recipe: This is one of my family's favorite appetizers. Any time I take it somewhere, people ask me for the recipe. I created it after seeing a layered cheese spread using the sun dried tomatoes and pesto. If there are any leftovers, I often throw it into hot pasta with a little more pesto, vegetables, and perhaps a little chicken for a quick dinner. I like bold flavors and I love appetizers, so this is one of my favorites.

Penny Kazmier, South Barrington

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