Sage and Cheese Torta

This recipe is our idea of the perfect pair — cheese and herbs — ancient essences with a romantic bite. Layered with nuts and molded into an appealing shape, these earthy ingredients form a rich, tangy appetizer.

1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
3 TBS chopped fresh sage leaves, plus a few whole leaves and flowers for garnish
1/2 pound extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup pecans, toasted & chopped

Place the cream cheese in a food processor with chopped sage and blend well. Line a 2 cup mold with a thick cheesecloth. Arrange whole leaves and flowers in a decorative pattern on the cheesecloth — lined mold. In layers, spread on half the cream cheese, then half the cheddar on top. Smooth out the layer and press gently. Top with pecans, then layer another layer of cream cheese, then cheddar, press gently.

Fold ends of cheesecloth over the top of mold and press lightly. Refrigerate Torta overnight. To un-mold, fold back the top of the cheesecloth. Invert a serving plate on top of the torta and flip them over together. Lift off the mold and carefully remove the cheesecloth.

Serve Torta with an assortment of crackers and wine. Share with a few friends, family, and of course Mom!

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