Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spicy Italian Layered Dip

This zesty party dip is great with crackers or raw veggies. Not only does it taste good, but it's pretty, too! It needs at least an hour to chill, or you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Dried oregano, or dried Italian herb blend (salt free)
8 oz cream cheese (regular or low-fat), softened at room temperature
6 oz goat cheese, softened at room temperature
6 oz basil pesto
2 cloves hot pickled garlic, drained & minced
8 oz oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix the softened cheeses with the minced garlic and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch (or more, to taste) of the red pepper flakes. Line a casserole dish with plastic wrap, and very lightly sprinkle with just a bit of oregano or dried Italian herbs. Using a spatula, carefully spread one-third of the cheese-garlic mixture in the dish, spreading evenly to the sides of the dish. Then layer the following ingredients in this order: tomato-pepper mixture, one-third of the cheese-garlic mixture, pesto, and remaining third of the cheese-garlic mixture. Make sure you spread each layer to the edges of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. To serve, remove top layer of plastic wrap, place serving plate face down over the casserole dish and hold in place while turning the casserole dish upside down so that the dip comes out onto the plate. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and serve with crackers and/or crudites (raw carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini sticks, etc.).

Zestfully yours,

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