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If you chop the basil used for decorating the top of the wreath it will bruise and turn black, so snip it into bits using kitchen shears instead and it will stay nice and green.
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
pesto (to make your own, see below)
6 to 10
snipped fresh basil leaves, for decorating
2 to 4
sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), cut into pieces, for decorating
baguette slices, for serving
1. Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together
the cream cheese and pesto. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a platter in a
circular pattern with the edges touching each other. Smooth the spoonfuls
together to form a wreath shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at
least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Before serving, sprinkle the basil over the top of the
wreath and decorate with pieces of sun-dried tomato.
Serve with baguette slices.
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Combine the basil, oil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and
salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Season
with additional salt and pepper if needed.
leftover pesto on pasta or spread on a sandwich, or freeze for up to 3 months.