I don’t know about you, but I adore appetizers, especially around the holidays. We make these 20 minute cheesy pesto tarts all the time!
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Fisher Nuts, however all opinions remain our own.
It’s easy to make a savory appetizer with puff pastry for gatherings and using a few key ingredients will make it taste like you’ve been slaving for hours. Which is my favorite thing, make people think I’ve worked harder than I did.
We’ve done a whole post on pesto, how to make pesto, how to store pesto, how to freeze pesto, how to keep pesto green, how long pesto keeps, and we have plenty of recipes that use pesto which we will link up to at the bottom of the post. So, refer back to THIS post if you need to read up on Pesto.
Just as with our classic pesto, the secret to really great flavor is in toasting the nuts and garlic. Walnuts, when fresh are not bitter like you may believe. Instead they have a sweetness to them and with that robust garlic it really makes for a great pesto.
The pesto we will make today is a little different as it uses Fisher Nuts Walnuts. We did a random sampling and Fisher Nuts were preservative free, tasted the most fresh and not bitter since they weren’t past their date of freshness.
Did you know that? That good fresh walnuts taste juicy, nutty and sweet? To store walnuts, I keep mine in the blue bag we buy them in as the dark colored bag actually is best to keep them fresh, then we place them in the kitchen cupboard as light degrades the oils.
Alright, so we use walnuts instead of pine nuts to really push that more nutty flavor in this pesto and we use store bought puff pastry because hello, who has time to make that from scratch?
Blend up your pesto in a blender or food processor and then stir in a little, or a lot of good quality parmesan or pecorino romano cheese. That’s the secret to simple food, use a few good ingredients and the flavor will take care of itself.
Just cut the pastry dough into circles and press into a mini muffin pan. Use a fork to poke holes all over the inside of the puff pastry and bake it until golden. Ours took about 10 minutes, but our oven has been crazy lately so 10-15 minutes should be perfect for you.
Pull them out and stuff with pesto and mozzarella cheese. We love to throw in halved or whole, depending on size grape tomatoes and then bake them off for a few extra minutes to melt the cheese.
The best part is, you can serve these hot or room temperature and they will still taste awesome!
20 minute Cheesy Pesto Tarts
- 3 Cups Basil packed
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- ¼ Cup Fisher Walnuts
- ¼ Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Olive oil Extra Virgin
- ¼ Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
- ½ Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
- 2 Sheets Puff Pastry
- 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes Halved
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
- 1 Pinch Black Pepper Fresh Cracked
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts and garlic. Toast for a few minutes or until golden brown, shaking the pan occasionally to toss the nuts and promote even color. Once the nuts are done, remove them from the pan and continue to toast the garlic. Remove it from the pan and remove the skin. Wait until both are cooled.
- Place the basil, nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and pulse until smooth, but still a tad grainy in texture. Place everything in a bowl and stir in the cheese. Salt to taste and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and roll out the puff pastry sheets. Using a biscuit cutter or large glass, cut the dough into circles. Using a fork, poke holes all over the dough and gently press into a mini muffin tin. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven and using a small spoon or tart press, push the sides back out, making a well in each center. I often use my fingers and burn myself, but do it anyway. 🙂
- Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon or so of prepared pesto. Add a tomato to each cup, a sprinkle of cheese and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden and cheesy.
- Remove from the oven and add a pinch of black pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
If you make our 20 minute cheesy pesto tarts make sure you tag us on social media, @ohsweetbasil #ohsweetbasil
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher nuts. The opinions and text are all mine.