The sun-kissed flavors of the Mediterranean come together again in this classic cheese spread made with Kalamata olive & sun-dried tomato tapenade plus basil pesto layered with a trio of cheeses including blue cheese, goat cheese, and cream cheese. This is a recipe we’ve made for the last 30 years and it never ever gets old! Serve to your favorite people on baguette slices, over grilled chicken, or on homemade crackers …that recipe is coming up next, so be on the lookout for how to make your very own crackers at home!
Sun-dried Tomato, Kalamata Olive & Pesto Layered Cheese Spread
This recipe holds for quite a while, so if you make extra, you can store it in the refrigerator. It's delicious as a spread for sandwiches, too! Make your tapenade, pesto, and cheese spread separately, and then layer them in a small bowl lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove it from the refrigerator and bring it to room temp for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve on crackers, baguette slices, or even on top of grilled chicken breast. You can certainly use store-bought pesto, but if you feel inclined to make it, here is our pesto recipe!
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, and drained
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 4 oz. goat cheese at room temp
- 4 oz. cream cheese at room temp
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
- 1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted for 4-5 minutes in the toaster or in a dry pan on the stove
- 1-2 fresh basil sprigs
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add olives and minced garlic and continue to process until smooth. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and beat with a fork or an electric beater until smooth and well integrated.
- Line a small bowl (1-pint capacity) with plastic wrap, leaving a little of the wrap hanging over the edges. This serves as a mold of sorts to get the right shape for your layered spread and also makes it easier to remove it from the bowl.
- Spread half of the cheese mixture in the bottom of the bowl. Use a damp spoon to smooth it out and fill in any gaps. Spread the pesto over the top of the cheese spread. Then spread the remaining cheese, smoothing it out with a damp spoon. Finally spread the sundried tomato-olive tapenade over the top, which will actually be the bottom, once you invert it when you serve it!
- Chill for at least one hour or up to a couple of days.
- When ready to serve, invert the bowl over your serving platter and place the layered cheese spread upside down, on the plate, with the pesto layer on the bottom. Remove the bowl. Now pull the plastic wrap off the entire thing. Garnish the top with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil sprigs. Allow it to sit at room temp for about 10-15 minutes before serving.