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Pesto and Goat Cheese Tart

pesto and_goats_cheese_tartAfter seeing numerous recipes and ads on TV for puff pastry tarts, last week I decided to try one, just using the stuff I had sitting in my fridge and cupboards.Well, let me tell you, it was fantastic! The options are endless and it is so simple!

It is a great way to use leftovers or make something 'designed' to yours and your family's tastebuds.The key to these tarts, I believe, is starting off with a good base sauce or spread. This could be anything from pesto to pizza sauce or even a spread of mustard, all depending on what you are putting on top. Top with some veggies and/or meat, and a nice cheese to compliment the base sauce or spread and toppings – it’s that easy.

And 20 minutes later, together with a nice salad, you have a lovely, delicious light dinner or a perfect lunch - great if you have guests!Simply follow the directions on the package of the pre-rolled puff pastry (so no rolling!), and place on a baking sheet that you have lined with parchment paper. Leave a border around the edges and the puff pastry will rise up.This is what I made last week:

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 1 jar pesto
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 log of goat’s cheese
  • Olive oil to drizzle over
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200ºC.

1. Follow directions for the pre-rolled puff pastry (the one I used said to let the pastry sit at room temperature before unrolling - giving you just the right amount of time to get your oven to temperature and your ingredients ready).

2. Unroll the pastry when ready and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

3. Spread pesto on to the pastry, leaving approximately a 2 inch border all the way around the pastry edge.

4. Top with peppers, tomatoes and garlic.

5. The goat’s cheese will be soft and crumbly, so just crumble over the tart.

6. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until pastry around edges is golden brown. If you don't like goat’s cheese, try feta or any other cheese you like! This recipe is very flexible and with no set amount of ingredients needed, it is perfect for using up leftovers.

Other ideas:

Ham, Leek and Cheese
Spread pastry with wholegrain mustard. Top with sliced ham and sautéed leeks or onions. Top with a nutty, firm cheese such as Jarlsberg or Emmenthal. Use a beaten egg to glaze. Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is brown and cheese has melted.

Red Onion, Walnut and Blue Cheese
Spread approximately 6 tbsp of red onion marmalade on base. Sprinkle on some chopped walnuts, then top with crumbled blue cheese. Sprinkle on a bit of dried thyme or use some fresh thyme sprigs. Glaze with an egg. Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is brown and cheese has melted.

 Let us know if you come up any other yummy ideas.

 By Alyssa Savage



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