Pesto. Cream Cheese. Earthy, spicy and sweet pesto in rich, tart cream cheese. Need I say more to sell you on this idea?
It's a great thing to serve while entertaining, or to bring to a party. Served alongside bagel chips, it is a flavorful spread to bring to brunches. With just three steps, it is incredibly easy to make Make it with fresh pesto and it will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I prefer my summer pesto a little sweeter, so I make it with cashews in place of pine nuts, which lends the pesto a subtle rich sweetness that pairs especially well with cheese, particularly creamy cheese. If you don't like cashews or don't think you would go in for a slightly sweeter pesto, you can instead use toasted pine nuts. The pesto recipe I used makes extra and it is awesome over tortellini, ravioli, gnocchi or roasted potatoes.
Pesto Cream Cheese
Serving size: adjustable
For the pesto:
1 1/4 cups cleaned basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
1/4 cup cashews, chopped roughly
salt, to taste
1. Make the pesto: combine all ingredients in blender and pulse for 1-2 seconds at a time until pesto achieves desired consistency (I go for a slightly rough paste, about 3 - 4 two second pulses).
2. Fold pesto into softened cream cheese on a 1:2 ratio (for example, 1/2 cup cream cheese to 1/4 cup pesto).
3. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
Serve with bagels, bagel chips, toasted pita or bread of choice.