Sun-dried Tomato and Ricotta Torte Trio


Sun-dried Tomato and Ricotta Torte Trio

For these molded tortes, try using containers of three different shapes and heights to create a multi-tower sandcastle look. You can also give each individual torte its own look: we sometimes make dots or stripes with the first thin layer of sun-dried tomato (the one that will appear on the top of the torte when it’s unmolded).


Ingredients Directions

For the sun-dried tomato mixture

3/4 cup chopped dried sun-dried tomatoes*
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
pepper

For the ricotta mixture

3/4 cup ricotta cheese
12 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

*You can also use the sun-dried tomatoes that come packed in oil. Skip the step for rehydrating and reduce the olive oil by about half.

Prepare the tomato mixture

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add boiling water until just covered. Let stand until tomatoes are plumped, 10 to 15 minutes, then drain.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and basil. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Add pepper to taste.

Prepare the ricotta mixture

Let all three ingredients come to room temperature in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.

Line three bowls, each with approximately a 2-cup capacity, with plastic wrap. Spoon enough sun-dried tomato mixture into one bowl to cover the bottom, then spoon in cheese mixture and smooth across the top until you have about a 1-inch layer. Add a 1-inch layer of tomato mixture and continue to alternate cheese and tomato until the bowl is full. Repeat with the other bowls.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. Unmold and bring to room temperature (this takes about an hour) before serving. Serve all three tortes on a single platter, surrounded by crackers.

Makes three 2-cup tortes.

Make-Ahead Factor

Both mixtures can be made 2 days ahead and kept separately, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. You’ll have to bring the ricotta mixture to room temperature again in order to spread it. The layered tortes can be made 1 day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Or you can make them up to 1 week ahead and freeze them in their bowls. Thaw at room temperature until the tortes can be unmolded, then continue to thaw until ready to serve.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.