I've seen so many beautiful tri-colored dishes on all blogs! Mind blowing. I decided to participate in this event by Akila. I haven't been to India in over 13 years! The first and the last time I'd been there with baby Mark was in 1997! That's it. Never got a chance to go back there as my sister moved to the US and my parents came to Canada first as visitors and then as permanent residents. I believe the most important factor of being and feeling an Indian is the love of food-multi layered, colorful Indian food. Love to see all the Indians out and celebrate Independence day and other holidays here in North America. I fondly remember my mom, making different sweets on Diwali, Sheer Korma on Id and cakes and other sweet and savory treats on Christmas. There in India, really Independence day didn't matter much! Only to go to school in the morning and do the salutation to the flag, come home and enjoy the rest of the day! It was only a simple day off for most of us. Well, things changed after I left India. Even though being a Canadian now myself, and having met with people with so many cultures around the world, I think of myself as a global citizen! But the Indian roots are still there. Can't deny it. The love of food, clothes, mehndi, gajra-everything is still alive after all these years! And that way, I've been trying to show Mark the heritage of India.
When I first read about the event, my mind was racing at jet speed. I wanted to make Indian food, Mexican food, Italian food-all with similar colors. The other day I was at the super market and I was checking out the vegetables, I saw the matching colored veggies and thought I could use these in so many dishes! Finally, I landed on cheese! That wasn't easy either. I thought about using a cream cheese. Stepped back, not only that cheese. Again, thought about using sour cream, nope, not good. Then I saw the layered ice cream I made and the light bulb flashed! I thought, why not make a cheese spread. That's it. Everything got shaped up in my mind and here it is! My cheese spread with pestos. I just added the olive spread because I liked the color and it reminds me of the Ashok Chakra in the flag.
Tri Color Spread
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
6-8 large Kalamata Olives, finely chopped
thinly-sliced baguette bread
Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with clear plastic wrap.
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic, oregano, and pepper; stir until well blended.
Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture onto the bottom of prepared pan. Top with pesto, spreading evenly. Layer with another 1/3 of the cheese mixture.
Drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserving one tomato for garnish. Cut remaining sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces; spread evenly over cheese mixture in pan. Top with remaining cheese mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and press gently to pack cheese. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Uncover and invert onto a serving plate.
Garnish with cut reserved tomatoes.
Serve with crackers or baguette bread.
NOTE: This can be made 5 days in advance and refrigerated , or it can be frozen up to 2 months.