Cheesy Pesto Carrot Tart

Carrot and Feta Tart Recipe

Carrot and Feta Tart Recipe

I have always been an adventurous eater, but vegetables were never really my favorite, especially carrots. The only association I had with carrots as a child was an obscure scene from the movie “Matilda” where her older brother throws a baby carrot at her. Using her powers, she reverses the carrot’s path and it shoots straight back into his mouth.

While that really has nothing to do with eating carrots, they have always felt like a culinary obligation. Sure, I would dip them in some hummus if they were set out at a party. Sure, I would take a small scoop out of pity when they were being served at a holiday gathering. But honestly, most of the time, carrots were forgettable.

That is, until the fateful day that I roasted them in the oven. What was once soft, flavorless orange mush was replaced with caramelized, sweet jewels of carrot goodness. They have now become one of my most favorite foods to cook, and I try and work roasted carrots into as many dishes as I can.

Though carrots are generally available year-round, they are quintessentially spring vegetables. As farmers markets begin to display the beautiful bounty of spring produce, rainbow carrots are a vegetable not to be missed.  Their bright roots are beautifully matched with their bountiful green tops.

This roasted carrot tart is a perfect side dish to serve at any spring family gathering. It is crunchy, flaky, cheesy and herby, the perfect accompaniment to a rich main course. The carrots, cumin, Feta and dill also create an amazing flavor combination with a slight Mediterranean-vibe.

 When you bring home that colorful bunch of red, purple, orange, white or yellow carrots, don’t throw out the tops! The carrot tops are packed with flavor, adding a pleasant sharpness, similar to parsley. We are all trying to be less wasteful, and keeping and using the carrots tops is a great way to utilize the entire vegetable. 


colorful carrots


The green carrot tops are flavorful and nutritious. We use them for the pesto in this recipe.

Cheesy Pesto Carrot Tart

by Megan | March 2019

This roasted carrot tart is a perfect side dish to serve at any spring family gathering. It is crunchy, flaky, cheesy and herby, the perfect accompaniment to a rich main course. The carrots, cumin, Feta and dill also create an amazing flavor combination with a slight Mediterranean-vibe.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Servings: 6


Roasted Carrots

  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots, tops intact*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Whipped Feta

  • 4 ounces Feta*
  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese*
  • 1 tablespoon milk*

Carrot Top Pesto

  • ½ cup reserved carrot tops, hearty stems removed*
  • ½ cup basil leaves*
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup assorted greens or herbs - spinach, parsely, dill or tarragon*
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese*
  • 1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • 1 sheet thawed puff pastry dough*

  • Crunchy salt
  • Chopped fresh dill


The Roasted Carrots:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat, parchment or foil.
  2. Remove tops from carrots and set aside.
  3. Wash, scrub and trim each carrot. Halve each one lengthwise and spread out on the rimmed baking sheet. (You may need to quarter larger ones.)
  4. Toss together with olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  5. Roast carrots in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

The Whipped Feta:

  1. Crumble Feta into a food processor.
  2. Add the soften cream cheese and milk and process until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, set aside and wipe out food processor bowl.

The Carrot Top Pesto:

  1. Add reserved carrots tops, basil, assorted herbs, pistachios, Parmesan, garlic and a splash of vinegar to the food processor. Pulse until the herbs and nuts are finely chopped.
  2. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and process to combine, scraping down the sides as needed.


  1. Roll out thawed puff pastry dough on a cutting board and roll out to a larger square, between 10 and 11 inches.
  2. Transfer to a lined rimmed baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a ½ inch border around the outside, being careful not to cut through the bottom of the pastry.
  3. Poke holes in the middle portion of the pastry with a fork (poking all the way through the dough this time) and place in the same 400°F oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown and puffy. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  4. Generously spread the whipped Feta over the middle portion of the puff pastry using an offset spatula.
  5. Spoon a few tablespoons of the carrot top pesto over the whipped Feta and spread out evenly.
  6. Arrange the carrots in a single layer and place back in the 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes more.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. Scatter the chopped dill and crunchy salt over the top. Slice into squares and serve.


  1. If the pesto is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon or two of water to thin out.
  2. You can add fresh garlic or chili peppers to the pesto for a another layer of flavor.
  3. You will likely have more pesto than you need. Store leftovers in an airtight container. It is delicious tossed with warm noodles, roasted chicken, or spread on a fancy grilled cheese sandwich.
  4. Depending on the size of your carrots, and the size of the puff pastry square, you might have a few extra roasted carrots. They make a great snack for the chef while preparing the tart, or can be saved and eaten later.
  5. You can drizzle a thinned garlic aoli on the top prior to serving. It adds more flavor and the contrast of the white aoli against the colorful carrots is just perfect.

Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.