I first made this torte in 2001, for a large cocktail party to celebrate  my beloved’s Birthday.  We’d  never hosted quite so many people  (perhaps 60),   and this layered appetizer was one of the highlights of that memorable night.   The recipe came  from  Chiqui, a caterer from New Orleans, whom I “net-met” many years ago.    I hope you’ll consider it for your next dinner party, or for a potluck.  I recently made it again for another birthday party, so I might have to start calling it “Birthday Torte”.  😉

(adapted from Chiqui)

1/2 cup slivered pine nuts, toasted (I substituted slivered almonds)
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1/2  garlic head, roasted
8 ounces feta cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp white pepper, ground
2 Tbs vermouth
1/2 cup arugula pesto (or regular basil pesto, preferably homemade)

Prepare the ingredients for all layers:  toast the nuts in a dry skillet or in the oven, being careful not to burn them.  Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes, drain of most of their oil, and mix them with 1/2  of the roasted garlic.  Mix the feta cheese at room temperature with the butter, cream cheese, pepper, vermouth, and the remaining roasted garlic.  Add to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and fluffy.  Adjust seasoning if necessary. If using commercial pesto, drain it to reduce the amount of oil.  If using homemade, make it with less oil than the recipe calls for.

Line the mold of your choice with plastic wrap, leaving 6 inches overhang on all sides.
First layer:   toasted nuts.
Second layer: Sun-dried tomato mixture.
Third layer: Half the cheese mixture. Spread it gently over the tomatoes.
Fourth layer:  Pesto sauce.
Fifth and final layer: Remaining cheese mixture.   Spoon gently, and smooth the surface well.

Cover it with the plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.  Unwrap it, invert the torte on a serving dish.  Serve with crackers of your choice.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You can make this layered torte in any kind of container.  Sometimes I prepare it in mini-loaf pans:  the full recipe is enough for two completely full mini-loaves, or three smaller (shorter) ones.   For a Valentine’s dinner, a heart-shaped container sounds interesting, but keep in mind that the dish is rich, so the full recipe is way too much for two people.

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(receita em portugues na proxima pagina)



1 / 2 xícara de amendoas picadas
1 xícara de tomates secos, em oleo
1 / 2 cabeça de alho assado
1 xicara de queijo feta
1/4 xicara de manteiga a temperatura ambiente
1 xicara de queijo cremoso (tipo Philadelphia cream cheese)
1 colher chá de pimenta branca, moída
2 colheres de sopa de vermute
1 / 2 xícara de pesto de rúcula (ou pesto normal de manjericao)

Prepare os ingredientes para todas as camadas: toste as amendoas em uma frigideira ou no forno, tomando cuidado para que não queimem.    Pique os tomates secos, deixando escorrer bem o excesso de oleo e misture com a metade do alho assado.   Misture o queijo feta com a manteiga, queijo cremoso, pimenta, vermute, e o restante do alho torrado.  Coloque em um processador e  processe até que fique liso e macio. Ajuste o tempero se necessário. Se estiver usando pesto comercial, escorra-o para reduzir a quantidade de óleo. Se usar caseiro, faça-o com menos óleo do que a receita pede.

Forre o recipiente de sua escolha com  filme plástico, deixando uns 15cm de comprimento por fora em todos os lados.
Primeira camada: amendoas torradas.
Segunda camada: Tomates secos.
Terceira camada: metade da mistura de queijo. Espalhe suavemente sobre os tomates.
Quarta camada: molho pesto.
Quinta e última camada: mistura de queijo restante. Espalhe e alise bem a superfície.

Cubra  com o filme plástico, e coloque na geladeira por pelo menos 4 horas, ou deixe ate’  o dia seguinte. Desembrulhe, e inverta a torta sobre um prato. Sirva com crackers ou torradinhas.


  1. Pingback: DOUBLE ASPARAGUS DELIGHT | Bewitching Kitchen

    • I think it could freeze well, because the feta is mixed with cream cheese and butter – that should take care of any problems with texture. Now, keep in mind I’ve never frozen it, so I am talking just from thoughts on the ingredients and how they would behave after freezing

      good luck!


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