I have some very exciting news. My best friend and incredibly talented makeup artist Lisa Potter Dixon and I have created a new cooking show called Mouthfull which launched yesterday on YouTube. It’s utterly bonkers and the first thing we make is this brilliant Pesto Toast Christmas Tree Sharing Platter. So GO WATCH NOW!!
Pesto Toast Christmas Tree Sharing Platter
This year, even more so than before, I feel the need to share some ideas for a special vegetarian Christmas and this Pesto Toast Christmas Tree Sharing Platter is the perfect way to kick it off! I want to show that choosing veggie dishes can be just as festive and tasty as traditional meat-based dishes and importantly they are also more affordable.
For me the Christmas table is all about theatre. Showing off that centrepiece – usually a golden bird, and then presenting it with all the trimmings. I’m not changing any of that other than taking away the meat. For my main course, the theatrical moment is a glorious vegetable and stuffing Wellington. I think anything wrapped in golden flaky pastry always elicits ooohs and ahhhs from my guests and that’s exactly what you want. Carved into thick slices and served with everyone’s favourite trimmings is sure to satisfy even the die-hard meat-eaters.
For the pesto:
- 50g pine nuts
- 30g (half a bag) of rocket leaves
- 30g (1 small bunch) fresh basil – chopped (include the stalks)
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled
- The juice of ¼ lemon
- 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread (try and get a long loaf with a domed back.)
- Olive oil
- Chilli oil
- Chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Stuffed peppers
- Cubes of cheese
- Start with the pesto. Place the pine nuts into a dry frying pan and gently roast on a medium heat for about 5 mins, tossing reguallry until they turn golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz until you have a thick, rough paste. The ingredients can be adjusted to taste and texture; a little more or less oil, more Greek yoghurt etc. Set aside. (This can be made a day in advance and kept in an air tight container in the fridge.
- Cut your bread into medium slices and lay them out on a board. Generously drizzle one side with oil. I like a bit of a chilli hit so I use chilli oil but any flavoured oil would be good here. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Heat a griddle pan and lay the bread, oil-side-down into the pan and griddle until crispy. Oil and season the up-facing side and then flip them over. When all the slices are toasted set them aside for a moment to cool. You don’t want them too hot.
- Spread the pesto onto the toast nice and thickly using the back of a spoon.
- Lay the toast onto a large serving platter or wooden board and arrange them like a Christmas tree with two pieces at the bottom and layering them up to the top.
- Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the star.
- Decorate the tree with olives, cheese or stuffed peppers.
For more festive food ideas check these out on Dom in the Kitchen.
Eat and of course, enjoy!