Like every girl, I love beautiful bouquets of flowers. I love the scent, the colors, and the surprise of waking up to a vase full on my counter, from my hubby, for absolutely no reason at all. He has learned though, over time, that it doesn't take a rose to bring a smile to my face. Actually, I've never really been a rose girl. Bring me a bouquet of wildflowers, or a bucket full of dandelions though, and I am a very happy gal... however, bring me a bunch of basil and I'll cook, clean, do your laundry... the scent of basil in my kitchen is pure, absolute heaven.
About 10 years ago my sister gave me this recipe for a Provolone Pesto Terrine, and I absolutely fell in love. A client of hers had given her the recipe, and it's been an appetizer staple at family gatherings ever since. While it has a few steps, and multiple ingredients, it isn't difficult to make at all...
While you could certainly save some steps by purchasing some ready made pesto, I wouldn't recommend it. Fresh, in this case, is best.
With a glass of wine, some crusty bread, and some good friends, this is a fabulous summertime treat.
1 c fresh lightly packed Basil
1 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced fine
1/4 c pine nuts
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/4 c unsalted butter
1 small clove minced garlic
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 c roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 c sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained, blotted, and coarsely chopped
1 lb thin sliced provolone
Italian bread and/ or Table water crackers
Cheesecloth or flour sack towel, to line loaf pan
In a food processor combine until smooth, basil, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. Place in bowl and refrigerate until needed.
In food processor combine cream cheese, butter, garlic, and white pepper. When smooth and creamy, place in small bowl and fold in pistachios.
Wet cheesecloth and ring dry. Completely line loaf pan, letting excess hang over edges.
Cut provolone slices in half. Slightly overlapping slices, line bottom and sides of loaf pan, extending halfway up. Divide remaining cheese into 3 equal stacks, and set aside.
Spread 1/2 of the pesto mixture over the provolone in bottom of loaf pan. Cover pesto with 1 of the stacks of provolone, overlapping as you go.
Sprinkle cheese with 1/2 of the sun dried tomatoes. On top of that evenly spread all of the cream cheese mixture, then sprinkle on remaining 1/2 of the tomatoes. Cover that with another stack of provolone cheese.
Cover with the remaining pesto, and then cover that with remaining stack of cheese. Fold the cloth over top of cheese, compact slightly, and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
To serve, invert onto a serving dish, remove cheesecloth, and garnish with basil and pistachios. Serve with slices of crusty bread or Table water crackers.
**This can be made up to a week in advance. To store, wrap in wax paper and keep in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.