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
- 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
- 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.
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.