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Baked Ricotta and Mozzarella Custards

July 10, 2007

This was adapted from a lovely book, “Tomatoes & Mozzarella” by Hallie Harron and Sally Sikora.

15 oz. whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
8 small bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups arugula leaves
12 ounces grape tomatoes
1/3 cup oil-cured olives

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil eight 3/4 - cup oven proof custard or soufflé dishes.

Stir the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, basil and garlic together in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill each dish with 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture and move to a sheet pan or baking dish. Tuck a bocconcini in the center of each custard. Bake for 35 minutes, or until tops are puffed and browned. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes before serving.

While the custards cool, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil to make the salad dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving toss the arugula and tomatoes in the dressing. Surround the outside of a plate with the arugula leaving a space in the center for the custards. Top the arugula with the tomatoes and olives. Pull the individual custards from the sides of the dishes and carefully un-mold in the center of the salads.

Tip: The custards can be baked in advance and reheated in oven or microwave or served chilled.

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