Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Dip

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto Cheese Spread 1
It’s almost time for New Year’s Eve, which usually means staying up ridiculously late and playing games with my family and eating a ton of food that I’ll regret in the morning.  But let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are meant to start on January 1st, which means that anything eaten on December 31st is fair game.  Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.  I’ll start my new exercise program in the morning, I think as I reach for another fun snack. 🙂

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto Cheese Spread 2This is one of the best items to take to a party because it’s super easy and incredibly delicious.  The first time I had it, I was in San Diego at an art gallery show with my cousin and his wife.  I felt spoiled looking through beautiful art and trying fun appetizers.  I overanalyzed the cheese dip and later this is what I came up with.  It might not be exactly what they did, but this is what we’ve fallen in love with.  I actually took this to a church gathering and the teaching pastor made a comment about it during the sermon.  He was talking about everyone having a right to their own opinions and his was that the best item on the back table was “…that pesto and sun-dried tomato dip stuff that rocked my world.”  It’s one of my go-to recipes whenever we’re having people over for the Super Bowl or other large get-together.  The ingredients are super simple and if you don’t normally have homemade pesto on hand, you can buy store bought pesto to be able to whip this up in less than five minutes.  I’ve included the homemade pesto we use and even though traditional pesto calls for pine nuts, I’ve always used walnuts.  They are cheaper and we’ve never noticed a difference in taste as the basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese play the biggest roles.

Sun-dried Tomato Basil Cheese Spread Title

IngredientsSun-Dried Tomato Pesto Cheese Spread 3

  • 1 8 oz bar cream cheese
  • 1 8.5 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienne sliced
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 box crackers

Directions

  1. With the cream cheese block lying thin (width) side up, cut the cream cheese in half so that you have two thin rectangles.
  2. Place those rectangles side by side on a serving platter to form a square.
  3. Top with basil pesto.
  4. Top with sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Serve with your choice of crackers!

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 olive oil

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend well.  You’ll probably have to scrape down the sides a bit, taste test a bit and resist the urge to continue eating before it’s completely smooth. 🙂
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