I know, I know, It’s been a while. I feel like a broken record saying this every time I manage to find the time to post. This time, I have an excuse… there has been a LOT going on with my food photography business. If you feel like hearing more about it, head over to the Chew Town Instagram highlights called “Studio Tour”. Because I have moved my photography and styling business out of our home and into a COMMERCIAL SPACE! I’m proper adulting now. Although I do have a 3 year old and an investment property, but that didn’t really feel like adulting for some weird reason.
Signing a commercial lease, now THAT’S adulting. Taking serious financial risk and committing to a multi year lease agreement that absolutely requires you to make money is taking things to the next level and it is frightening. It’s also the reason I’m somewhat sporadic in my posting. Sure, I’m cooking and shooting every week, but it’s for clients and I’m often so busy, I don’t get time to make things for fun.
Today, I actually made something for fun! This was a recipe request from a dear friend who lives in another state. She sent me a picture of a half eaten anitpasto platter the other night with the words “Can you identify something delicious for me?… I would love to make it”. She was at a gathering with friends and a wonderful savoury creamy antipasto terrine wrapped in cheese was on the platter with other meats, cheeses, dips and olives. After exchanging messages back and forth, I had her taste it a few more times and answer a myriad of questions I threw at her until I decided on what it was and how to develop the recipe for her having never tasted it myself. It had Italian flavours so I was confident I could work it.
My searching of the Italian language recipe sites yielded nothing, so I figured either I wasn’t using the right Italian words for the recipe, or it was a hybrid dish created outside of Italy but using Italian flavours. Either way, I came up with a recipe and sent her a first draft that night.
I then got to work this week testing the recipe and here it is, our antipasto terrine with layers of pesto, sun dried tomato & capsicum and cream cheese all encased in provolone. There is no actual cooking involved, just three different mixtures made using the food processor and then layered together in a loaf pan or cake pan lined with provolone cheese. You then place it in the freezer until it sets completely hard, then pop it on your platter and bring it to room temp before serving.
It is seriously delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a charcuterie board. The best bit is if you don’t eat all of it, just wrap it up and store it in your freezer until your next set of guests drop in (if that even happens anymore thanks to the global situation). Or, do what we plan to do and cut it into smaller portions, freeze and have it on a few consecutive Saturday nights at home with some wine while the kid is asleep.
Antipasto Terrine with Provolone, Pesto and Tomato
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 medium sized garlic clove
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)
- 25g cream cheese
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Tomato Capsicum Layer
- 100g semi dried tomatoes (or sun dried tomatoes), drained
- 50g fire roasted capsicum strips, drained
- 25g cream cheese, softened
Cream Cheese Layers
- 450g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 250g thinly sliced provolone cheese, at room temperature to soften
- Toasted crisp bread or crackers, to serve
Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. After adding the oil, turn the food processor off and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese, cream cheese & freshly ground salt and pepper to taste and pulse again until just blended. Transfer to a mesh sieve and place over a bowl to drain while you prepare the other layers.
TOMATO CAPSICUM LAYER
Combine the sun dried tomatoes & roasted capsicums in a food processor and pulse until the consistency is finely chopped (not pureed). Add the cream cheese and pulse a few times until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and set aside.
CREAM CHEESE LAYERS
Combine the cream cheese, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until completely combined then set aside.
Line a 1.2L loaf tin (or other 1.2L cake tin) with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhang to cover the top. Reserving 3 slices of the provolone, line the bottom and sides of the tin with the remaining provolone, overlapping the slices. Spread some of the cream cheese mixture over the cheese slices lining the tin. Top with the pesto mixture and then half of the remaining cream cheese mixture. Top this with the sun dried tomato mixture, then the all the remaining cream cheese mixture.
Cover the top with the reserved provolone cheese slices and then bring the edges of the plastic wrap up over the terrine and secure. Set in the freezer until firm.
When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap from the top, invert on to a serving dish and let come to room temperature. Serve with toasted crisp bread or crackers.