Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Torta

makes 1 (8-inch) torta

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cloves garlic, grated on a micro-plane

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, plus a few extra for garnish

1 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, parmesan, feta, and garlic with a hand-held mixer on medium speed.  Divide the mixture into thirds.  In a separate bowl, combine one-third of the cheese mixture with the spinach; set aside.

Line an 8-inch round cake pan or spring-form pan with plastic wrap.  Spread one-third of the cheese mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Lay half of the sun-dried tomatoes on top.  Spread the spinach mixture on top of the tomatoes.  Lay the remaining tomatoes on top of the spinach mixture.  Top with the remaining cheese mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Remove plastic wrap on the top.  Invert torta onto a serving platter.  Carefully remove plastic wrap.  Press the pine nuts on the sides to cover.  Spread pesto on top and garnish with the extra sun-dried tomato.  Serve with crackers or crostini.  Enjoy!

Leftover Torta Panini

Slices of Country bread

Leftover torta

Basil pesto

Sliced pancetta, cooked and drained

Fresh baby leaf spinach

Chicken breast, cooked and sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat a panini grill or pan.  Spread one slice of bread with leftover torta.  Top with spinach, pancetta, and sliced chicken.  Spread second slice of bread with leftover torta; place on top of chicken.  Drizzle outside of bread with olive oil. Cook sandwich in the panini grill or pan until cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through.  Allow panini to cool slightly (the spinach stays really hot).  Slice and enjoy!  

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