Around the holidays, my family loves to try out new appetizers. We have even been known to make a meal out of them on New Year’s Day. Regardless of when you eat them, it’s nice to have a few quick, go-to ideas when company is coming, or you just want to serve a snack to whet the appetites before your Christmas dinner. I think you’ll enjoy them all and many can be made ahead of the big day, leaving you more time with family and friends.

Pesto Blossom

Course Appetizer
Servings 4


  • 8 oz. sliced provolone
  • 2- 8 oz. Cream cheese room temperature
  • 20 pistachios shelled
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 c. Fresh basil
  • 1/2 c. Fresh parsley
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 1/4 t. Salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz. jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes


  • Line a medium bowl with enough plastic wrap to let it lap over the sides.
  • Line bottom and sides with provolone, reserving 3 slices.
  • For the cheese layer, in a food processor, combine cream cheese, pistachios and 1 clove garlic until blended and set aside.
  • Clean processor, then add basil, parsley, pine nuts and 1 garlic clove to processor bowl and blend on high until finely chopped.
  • Mix salt and pepper into olive oil until blended.
  • With machine running, add the oil in a fine stream until blended and set aside.
  • For tomato layer, drain the tomatoes, reserving oil.
  • Puree the tomatoes with a small amount of reserved oil. Mixture should look crumbly.
  • To assemble, spread some of the cheese mixture over the cheese slices in the bowl.
  • Layer on all of the pesto, then half of the remaining cream cheese mixture, then the sun-dried tomato mixture, and finally the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  • Cover the top with the remaining slices of provolone.
  • Bring the edges of the plastic wrap together and secure tightly with a twist tie. Chill well.
  • Open and invert onto a serving platter and serve in small wedges with party crackers.
  • Will keep in refrigerator for 2 months. It can also be frozen and thawed in refrigerator before serving.