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Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese, with Heirloom Tomato Confit

This is a simple preparation that’s delightful, as either an appetizer or a light lunch. Creamy ricotta cheese provides a gentle counterpoint to a quick tomato confit. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

Goat’s milk ricotta cheese, with heirloom tomato confit

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1 cup fresh cow’s milk or goat’s milk ricotta cheese*
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic chives
kosher salt
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes**, halved
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves
freshly milled black pepper
olive oil
a generous handful of parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 325 F.

Place ricotta cheese in a small bowl. Stir in herbs and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly. Chill for an hour to let flavors blend.

Combine tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a Pyrex baking dish or roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, then roast at 325 F for one hour. Remove from heat when done and let cool slightly.

To assemble, spoon cheese in the center of a small plate or shallow soup bowl. Top with tomato confit (and chopped parsley, if you like). Serve at once.

* Substitute ricotta cheese from the supermarket if fresh cheese is unavailable. You might have to drain some of the whey before using it in the recipe.

** Substitute regular tomatoes (plum tomatoes are excellent) if heirloom tomatoes are unavailable. Make sure that the tomatoes are ripe, otherwise you may have to cook them longer than an hour, and also at a lower heat setting.

Time: One hour and 15 minutes, including prep.

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