Between the wrapping up at work and the wrapping gifts at home there often isn't a lot of time left to actually enjoy the holidays. Especially when you are the one hosting over Christmas. So while it can be nice to go all out in the kitchen for your guests, sometimes it is better to serve them something that is as easy and quick as it is delicious. Yummy doesn't mean you have to be exhausted by the time dinner is served. And while this dish might not serve as a complete meal just by itself (at least not for more than two people) it makes for a really nice appetizer or side dish. Just add another couple of your favorite go to dishes and you're all set.
A Dough for All Seasons
I celebrate Christmas at this time of the year, that's why I chose to make a Christmas Tree. But you can obviously go for any other shape of your preference from the dough – not only does the recipe work for any occasion, it also works in any season. It tastes just as great in summer.
If you opt for the tree (or basically any shape that is not the squares the dough usually comes in) there will be leftover pieces. Don't throw them out! Instead get creative. I sprinkled some of mine with parmesan, others I stuffed with the rest of the cheese, tomatoes and pesto I had, and a few I filled with camembert and raspberry jam. —Talea de Freese
Thaw the puff pastry according to the directions on the box. Carefully roll out two sheets on a floured surface until they are both about 1.5 times the original size. They should be equal in size and thickness. Lay one sheet loosely on top of the other. With a kitchen knife carve out the shape of a Christmas tree (or any other desired shape). Carefully put aside the top layer and transfer the lower layer to a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (ca. 200 °C).
Spread half of the pesto evenly onto the puff pastry that is now on the tray. Sprinkle with mozzarella. I usually tear off pieces of a fresh ball but you could also use grated mozzarella of course. Carefully transfer the second sheet of puff pastry onto the first. Twist the edges around the tree so the pesto doesn't leak from inside. Cover the center of the upper layer with the rest of the pesto. Cut cherries in half and olives in slices and decorate the tree with them. In a small bowl whisk the egg and brush the edges of the tree and any other parts that might not be covered in pesto. Sprinkle the tree with feta, pine nuts, and oregano. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is all puffy and golden brown. Happy holidays!