Festive Pesto Cheese Spread





Introduction: Festive Pesto Cheese Spread

I'm always on the look out for a tasty and easy to make dish for our workplace Christmas potluck. This year I made a pesto cheese spread, which is a variation of a cheese ball that I shaped into a wreath and garnished with fresh herbs and red peppers.

I found an image of a wreath made from cheese spread on the Kraft web site, but they did not go into detail on how to make it, and I did not like the ingredients that they used, so I came up with my own version. Here's my recipe.

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • 500g(~1lb) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • ~1/2 cup chopped parsley and/or basil and/or cilantro
  • 1 medium red pepper (you can also use yellow and orange peppers if you want more colour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • knife and cutting board
  • mixing and measuring spoons
  • spatula
  • saran wrap
  • mixing bowl
  • plastic container to use as a mould (I used a 8 cup container, 15 cm in diameter.)
  • food processor if you have one

Step 2: Adding and Mixing Ingredients

Mix together the ingredients in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor like me (hmm, maybe I should ask Santa for one) take the cream cheese out beforehand so that it softens and is easier to blend.

  • Cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces and put in bowl.
  • add 2 tablespoons pesto mix.

  • wash and finely chop a medium size red pepper, add 3/4 of it to the cream cheese (save rest for later)*.
  • add 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

  • blend well.

*If you plan to refrigerate overnight and serve the next day, chop the remaining 1/4 pepper the next day.

Step 3: Making a Wreath

  • Line your plastic container with saran wrap.
  • Spoon cream cheese mix into plastic container.
  • With a spatula, make a hole in the center pushing the mixture outward (see image below).
  • Press and flatten the top of the cream cheese mix with the spatula .
  • Cover the container with a lid if you have one or saran wrap and place in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours so it becomes firm
  • After at least 3 hours, gently remove the wreath from the container by tugging on the saran wrap. Then tip it over onto a plate.
  • Using the spatula, make the surface of the wreath smooth.

Step 4: Decorate Wreath

  • Wash and finely chop herbs.
  • Cover surface of wreath with the herbs.
  • Chop the remainder of the red pepper, if you haven't done so already.
  • Decorate the wreath with the red peppers (I just made little red circles with them)
  • With a spoon or spatula press the herbs and peppers down so that the stay put.

Serve with crackers or bread. Enjoy!



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    Delicious! But make sure to serve at room temperature. I made this for a Christmas party last December and it was very lackluster until the end of the party, when it had sat out of the fridge for a few hours. I couldn't believe how much of a change it made.

    This looks great!

    It looks very festive and tasty and I love how you used fresh herbs. I am going to bookmark this to make next year for Christmas. Thanksf or sharing it with us!

    mmmmmmmm yummie, cream cheese......... this looks good.


    Looks great! I think i'd like to make this with sun-dried tomatoes instead of peppers. Good work!...I'm hungry now.

    Ahh I see someone has given you my patented "Nicely Done" compliment. Well very good job it looks yummy.

    I like the "nicely done" comment, I'm always searching for the right words when I leave comments, maybe I can start using that too. If you don't mind.

    Nicely done. Actually looks much nicer than I thought it would at first glance - a lot of such foods go for looks over taste!