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Baked Ricotta with Parsley Salad

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Beaten with egg and baked in a pie tin, ricotta puffs up into a stunning, golden brown dome. It does deflate as it cools, but then you can slice the barely warm cheese like a pie. Serve it with a green salad or, as here, with a parsley and tomato salad. For best flavor, use the intensely sweet, small cherry tomatoes–such as Sweet 100s and Sungolds–found at farmers’ markets in summer. You can eat the parsley salad immediately, but I like it better when it has rested for about an hour to “fatigue” the parsley. Add some crusty bread and white wine and call it a lunch.

NotesThe ricotta needs to drain for several hours or overnight before baking.

Serves8

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, high-calcium, kosher, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, herby, juicy, light, savory, tangy

Type of Dishsalad

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds or two 15-ounce containers whole milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, stems removed (about 1½ bunches)
  • ½ pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ pint golden cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small red onion, cut into paper-thin slices
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or more as needed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the baked ricotta: Put the ricotta in a large sieve or colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Cover the ricotta with the cheesecloth, set the sieve or colander over a bowl to catch the draining whey, and set a plate with a weight (such as a heavy can of tomatoes) on top of the ricotta to speed draining. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan. In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the eggs, beating well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake in the upper third of the oven until puffed and lightly brown, about 55 minutes. Let cool, then unmold onto a cutting board.

  3. To make the parsley salad: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately or let stand for up to 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

  4. Cut the ricotta into 8 wedges and place on individual plates. Accompany each serving with some of the parsley salad.

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