Cheese Torta with Basil, Olives, and Sundried Tomatoes

The world is going crazy. Absolutely crazy. Lindsay Hohan is back on the streets to terrorize all of us with her coochie shots. The oil spill is no longer the number one thing in the news. It has rained every day for the past two weeks and the past 4 days it has rained ALL day, every day. Who ever named Florida the Sunshine State was obviously an idiot. I went to the store today and they were out of peanut butter. Not like out of just one brand. Out of all creamy peanut butters they sell. They said some lady came in and bought all the jars of creamy peanut butter they had. Who does that?! And then my husband is possibly trying to move me far, far away. Out of the South. Where I belong. Where it doesn’t snow…and people are nice…and like everything fried.

So when the world goes crazy, there is one thing I can always turn to. Cheese. Cheese is always there, always the same, and always so incredibly fattening satisfying. I made this a while back when my BFF Christina was here and I took it to her farewell party. It was amazing! Everyone raved over it and begged for the recipe. Either because I am lazy…or evil (your choice) I am just now getting around to giving out this recipe! I suggest you do not make this when it is only a few people…but instead when there is a large crowd. That way you would feel guilty about sneaking it into the closet and having your dirty way with it eating it all by yourself.

Cheese Torta with Basil, Olives, and Sundried Tomatoes


10 ounces goat cheese, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
black pepper freshly ground, to taste
1 cup finely chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped Kalamata olives


In the bowl of the stand mixer, mix the goat cheese and cream cheese, adding enough milk so the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add 1 clove of the minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.

In the other bowl, combine the chopped basil with the remaining garlic and all the olive oil to make a thick paste.

Line the 1-quart bowl with wet cheesecloth. Arrange 4 large basil leaves face down on the cheesecloth.

Carefully spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the basil leaves on the cheesecloth. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, evenly distributing and spreading them to the edge of the cheese. Press down gently. Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the tomato layer. Spread the basil and garlic mixture over this cheese layer, pressing lightly.

Add the final layer of the cheese, then cover it with the chopped olives, spreading to the edge and pressing gently.

Fold the cheesecloth in to cover the torta and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

To serve, fold back the cheesecloth and invert it onto a serving plate. Carefully remove the cheesecloth from the top of the torta. Let the torta stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Adapted from: Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide