I make a lot of appetizers and am always trying to come up with something different. I say you can never go wrong with a good dip, especially one that is packed with flavor. We’ve done a number of dips on this blog. Some of my favorites are our Easy BLT Dip and, of course, the Pizza Dip Appetizer in a Skillet, or the Easy and Cheesy Cauliflower Dip. I’m starting to think I’m obsessed with dips and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
So, let’s add to the list this Creamy Pesto Dip with Roasted Garlic. Yes, pesto and roasted garlic because, why not? The key to this recipe is the roasted garlic. If you have never had it, I can’t recommend it enough. Baking garlic at a high temperature caramelizes the sugars, allowing for a much sweeter and richer taste without the bite you find in raw garlic. I’ve had roasted garlic spread on toasted bread (like butter) and even roasted garlic ice cream. It’s worth the time and effort.
Roasting the Garlic
While this recipe calls for one bulb of garlic to be roasted, I highly encourage roasting two or three just so you have enough on hand. The process is the same and it takes no additional time. Set your oven at 400 F and, using a Santoku-Style Trimmer, cut off the entire top of the garlic bulb about one-quarter to one-half inch down so most of the cloves are exposed.
Place the prepared garlic bulbs on a large sheet of aluminum foil (cloves facing up), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the bulbs tightly in the aluminum foil and place in an oven-safe ceramic dish or on a baking dish. Bake for around 30 to 40 minutes until the garlic is soft. Allow the bulbs to cool enough until you can easily pop each clove out into a bowl to mash with a fork and set aside.
For instructions on how to roast garlic, check out our step-by-step tutorial.
Prepping the Ingredients
Using a Mini Cheese Knife, slice each cherry tomato in half and set aside.
Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet until golden brown to enhance their flavor. Just don’t walk away. They can go from golden brown to burned in as little as five seconds. Once the nuts have cooled, use a 7-5/8" Petite Chef knife to chop them.
Making the Dip
In a medium-sized bowl, blend the roasted mashed garlic, cream cheese and sour cream. Spread this mixture onto the bottom of a small baking dish. Top with a half cup of store-bought pesto. If you make your own pesto, then absolutely use fresh. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the pesto, followed by the halved cherry tomatoes and chopped pine nuts. Bake in a 350 F oven until the garlic cream cheese mixture is bubbling, around 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with baguette slices and sliced pepper.
This Creamy Pesto Dip with Roasted Garlic is so tasty, it disappeared quickly. The roasted garlic is the star of the dish and if you make your own pesto it will push the flavors over the top. We went with a store-bought pesto to make the dish easy to put together and the flavor was still wonderful. I could say this is the last dip we’ll do in the Cutco kitchen, but we all know that’s not the truth. So enjoy, we certainly did.
Creamy Pesto Dip with Roasted Garlic
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
- Baguette slices, for serving
- Pepper slices, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Roast the garlic: Using a Santoku-Style Trimmer, cut off the entire top of the garlic bulb about ¼- to ½- inch down to expose most of the cloves. Place the prepared garlic bulb on a large sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle them with sea salt. Wrap the bulb of garlic tightly in the aluminum foil and place in an oven-safe ceramic dish. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, until it is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 F.
- Squeeze the roasted cloves out of the bulb and place them into a bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork. Add in the cream cheese and sour cream and mix until well combined.
- Spread garlic mixture into the bottom of a small baking dish and then spread the pesto on top.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the pesto.
- Place the tomatoes over the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with pine nuts.
- Bake the dip until the garlic cream cheese is bubbling, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- Serve with toasted baguette slices and vegetables.