Hands-on cooking class

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Chunky Pesto with Feta, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Parsley, and Pine Nuts


Adapted fromTekitchn.com

(makes 2 cups)

  • 1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced or pressed or grated
  • juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
  • big pinch of salt
  • a few turns of pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted and hot 

In a bowl, mix together feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest/juice, salt and pepper.  Toast pine nuts in the oven or in a pan on the stove until they smell nutty and are lightly browned. Mix hot nuts in with the cheese mixture. Taste for seasoning. Let it sit for a minute and then taste again.


Many root vegetables have different cooking times. Don't worry about this. It's actually nice to have different textures in this tart. Use an 8, 9, or 10 inch tart pan. This tart would also be really good on puff pastry (easier too if store bought). 

  • 1 1/2 cups chunky pesto
  • 1 recipe basic shortcrust pastry dough ,disc refrigerated 
  • any combination of root vegetables and squash including: delicata squash, (skin on), patty pan squash,  eight ball squash, carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, spring onions, shallots -- (about 4 cups vegetables total)
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.

Peel the vegetable. Chop up vegetables into chunks that are approximately the same size (about the size of a quarter). Peel and slice the onions or shallots if using them. Leave the garlic unpeeled. Toss everything together on a sheet pan. Drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add herbs and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss again until all vegetables are coated. Roast in the oven until vegetables are just getting tender but not mushy. Toss them around every 15 minutes or so. It's okay for them to caramelize and get crispy, maybe even the tips will burn a bit. This will take 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll out pastry dough, press into a 9 inch tart pan. Trim or press off edges. Refrigerate.

Once the vegetables are out of the oven, turn it down to 350°F. When oven temperature has dropped, bake tart shell until it just starts to smell nutty and buttery (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from oven. Leave oven on. If your children are assembling the tart let it cool for a few minutes (otherwise go right ahead with the hot shell). Spread pesto evenly all over the bottom of the shell. Place partially roasted vegetables on top of the pesto. Put all the roasted garlic cloves in a pile in the center. Grate lots of parmesan all over the top of the tart. Bake for 30 minutes or so until the cheese and the tart shell are nicely browned.

Perfect Flaky Crust

1 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 Tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, frozen and cut into small pieces

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small pieces