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Try this simple yet elegant appetizer!

Bring the fresh flavors of Italy to your table with this simple yet elegant appetizer. Use very fresh sheep's milk ricotta if you can find it. Recipe from an Italian Summer, newly collected by The Silver Spoon Kitchen, (Phaidon Press, 2010).


2 2/3 cups fresh ricotta
2 heaping tablespoons chopped, fresh mixed flat-leaf parsley, basil, marjoram, and/or thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
11 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup pitted black olives
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
11 ounces ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
olive oil, for drizzling
4 basil leaves, torn
6 slices rustic bread, lightly toasted


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 6 individual 4-ounce ramekins and dust with flour. Combine the ricotta and herbs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the ramekins, and arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

2. While the ricotta bakes, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pistachios on a large cutting board and finely chop. Put the fresh tomatoes in a bowl, season with salt, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the torn basil leaves.

3. Arrange the toasted bread on individual small plates. Run a knife around the edges of the ramekins and turn the baked ricotta out onto the bread. Spoon the sun-dried tomato pesto on one side, and the chopped tomatoes on the other. Drizzle with olive oil and serve warm.

4-6 Servings
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