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Tri-Color Cheese Stack

I hesitated before featuring this sublime Tri-Color Cheese Stack in this week's newsletter, as I've previously shared this gem in both my cookery school classes and magazine column, and was certain that word of this divine dish must have spread throughout Israel. I then figured that if you already have this stellar recipe, then this is your reminder to make it for Shavuot, and if you haven't, then I'm giving you a virtual gift you will enjoy always. Made in minutes using easy-to-find ingredients, the taste and visual impact of this timeless wonder belies its simple assembly method, and it's always the very first dish finished at every buffet table I've placed it upon. Try it....treasure it....and share it. That's my motto when it comes to best recipes and I urge you to make it yours too.

2 tubs Philadelphia cream cheese 1/3 cup basil pesto 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes Toasted pine nuts OR flaked almonds to garnish See notes below for substitutions 1: Line a small bowl - a cereal bowl is ideal - with plastic wrap and spoon in a thick layer of cheese 2: Spoon over a layer of basil pesto, then add a second layer of cheese, followed by a layer of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. 3: Carefully spoon over remaining cheese to cover tomatoes, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate till needed. 4: Turn out onto a serving platter, remove plastic wrap, and garnish top with nuts and a drizzle of olive oil if desired. 5: Serve with crackers,whole-wheat bread, or toasted pita chips. COOK'S NOTES: You can use tubs of Philadelphia or Symphonia cream cheese to make this but 'gvinah levanah' white cheese is too liquid. You can use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil or substitute with sun-dried tomato pesto available at Meatland. Use store-bought basil pesto or make a quick, chunky pesto by processing 1 cup of basil leaves with 1/4 cup of walnuts, 1/4 cup grated yellow cheese, 1 garlic clove and enough olive oil to make a paste, and season to taste. Excellent whichever way it's made and it can easily be made ahead. Serves at least 8 - 10.

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