Recipe By Chef John
Published Dec 14th
Prep 30m Cook 30m Additional 15m Ready In 1h 15m
Servings 8 servings Calories 355.1

Wow the guests at your next holiday party with this delicious, pull-apart Christmas tree appetizer. The combination of crispy, buttery, flaky puff pastry wrapped around cheese and pesto is a stellar combination. Serve as-is or alongside some spicy tomato sauce for dipping.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • ⅓ cup prepared pesto sauce, divided
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone liner (such as Silpat®).
  2. 2 Roll pastry into a 14-inch square, sprinkling with flour if necessary.
  3. 3 Cut from the bottom corners up to the center top to make a triangle. Place the triangle on a prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator.
  4. 4 Overlap the long edges of the 2 remaining pieces of pastry by about ½ inch to form a second triangle. Roll to flatten slightly. Place on the second prepared baking sheet and chill until needed.
  5. 5 Remove the first triangle from the refrigerator. Lift the silicone liner and pastry off the pan and onto the counter. Trim about 1 ½ inches off the bottom of the triangle and cut a 2-inch piece from that strip. Tuck that piece under the triangle to make a trunk.
  6. 6 Spread all but 1 to 2 tablespoons pesto sauce over the entire triangle, leaving ¼ inch exposed at the edges. Grate most of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the pesto. Place the second pastry triangle over top; stretch and pull it to fit, and trim off any extra dough as needed. Lightly press the edges together to seal and pat over the whole surface of the dough.
  7. 7 Use a pizza wheel to cut ¾-inch horizontal strips on one side of the tree going from the outside edge in to about ¼ to ½ inch from the center; leave the center part connected to form the trunk. As you move up the tree, it may be easier to place the pizza wheel at the trunk and cut out to the edge. Repeat on the other side, lining up the cuts with the first side.
  8. 8 Lift up each strip and twist 3 to 4 times. As you get up to the shorter pieces near the top, twist as many times as you can, but don't worry if you can't twist the strips at the very top.
  9. 9 Brush remaining pesto over the center of the tree and any other spots you feel need it. Transfer the silicone liner back onto a baking sheet. Grate remaining cheese over top.
  10. 10 Bake in the center of the preheated oven until pastry is fully cooked and well browned, 30 to 35 minutes; do not undercook.
  11. 11 Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 355.1
  • Carbohydrate 23.8 g
  • Cholesterol 8.2 mg
  • Fat 25.5 g
  • Fiber 1.1 g
  • Protein 8.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.2 g
  • Sodium 316.4 mg

Chef's Notes

I used Dufour puff pastry; The pesto is technically optional… you can just make this with cheese. Or you can use tomato-based or pepper-based sauces; You can use any other cheese you like instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano; If you want to decorate this further, you could add bits of red pepper to look like ornaments or slivers of anchovies to look like tinsel.
No review yet, please check back later or create your own review

Add review

We use cookies and similar methods to recognize visitors and remember their preferences. We also use them to measure ad campaign effectiveness, target ads and analyze site traffic. Learn more