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by on September 29th, 2009

Feta and Sundried Tomato Torte

Sun-dried Tomato Torte with baguette slices mixes lots of flavorful ingredients to make a great party spread.

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I’ve been catering for 20 years and still my favorite things to make are appetizers. 

We just returned from a trip to New York and we had some wonderful meals at DBGB, Gramery Tavern, and Babbo. I learned a new word this trip — amuse bouche. This is a tiny appetizer that the chef sends out to tickle your taste buds. I’m going to be trying one that we had at Gramercy Tavern real soon — as soon as they send me the recipe :). The night at Gramercy Tavern we had a potato amuse bouche that was served as soon as we sat down and then by the time we finished our meal, we had three dessert amuse bouche and then our main desserts we ordered, then they bought us a little crumb cake each to take home for breakfast. A fantastic meal we shared with friends also celebrating their anniversary. Our 40th, their 25th.

This isn’t a tiny appetizer but I think your taste buds will enjoy it.

I love using sun-dried tomatoes and I always buy the ones that are in the produce section. They are nice and red, and tender and moist, not at all like the dried up ones I use to buy in packages.

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This recipe also calls for watercress and sesame seeds.  I always toast the sesame seeds because it creates such a wonderful nutty flavor.

Normally I prepare all the ingredients the day before.  I do all my chopping and put the green things and sesame seeds together. I chop the sun-dried tomatoes but I keep them separate until I’m ready to put the torte together. If you put it together too early, I think the tomatoes bleed into the greens.

I also mix all the cheese mixture up and put in a separate container. You want to dampened the cheesecloth and squeeze out all excess moisture. I usually have a piece big enough I can double it and line the spring form pan and have enough to come up over the sides and enough to put over the top so you can press the torte together.

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After you do your last layer of feta mixture, you will top with the remainder of the tomato/parsley mixture.

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Fold the dampened cheesecloth over the mixture and press down firmly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Feta and Sundried Tomato Torte

3/4 lbs. feta cheese
1/2 lb. cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 c. parsley, minced
6 green onions, minced
1/2 c. watercress, minced
1/4 c. sesame seeds, toasted
4 Tbsp. white wine
2 squares cheesecloth 18″
white pepper to taste

Combine the butter, cheeses, wine, shallot, garlic and white pepper in a mixing bowl and beat, using paddle attachment, until creamy and well blended.

Moisten the cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess moisture. Line an 8″ springform pan withthe cheesecloth.

Combine the parsley, watercress, green onions, sundried tomatoes and sesame wseeds in a bowl. Add a layer of this mixture to the mold and top with 1/2 the cheese mixture, then another layer of parsley mixture, cheese mixture and ending with parsley mixture. Wrap the cheesecloth over the top and gently press down to compact the layers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

To unmold, remove cheesecloth, put tray on top of mold and flip over. Carefully peel off the cheesecloth.  Serve with crackers are toasted baguettes.

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