Summer brings the opportunity for light meal options to combat the heat. This watermelon, ricotta and smoked turkey salad fits that bill, served either as a full meal or a side for a Lammas potluck.
You probably have seen recipes for watermelon with feta but this is a way to bring all your fresh herbal goodness to table with a soft cheese.
You will need:
a selection of fresh herbs to taste
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
With thoughts of appreciation and gratitude for the life force of plants you are using, collect a sprig or two of the herbs you would like to combine in the ricotta. I collected a combination on mint, chives, oregano, sage, thyme and tarragon. I was talking with a friend today who had tried the watermelon mint popsicles and we chatted about using just mint. Truly the combination is up to you.
Finely chop the herbs and to the ricotta add at least 1/2 cup of herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix and return to the fridge to infuse for at least an hour and up to a day.
There will be extra cheese as this is kind of a summer staple in my home.
The intention though is to balance the sweet crispness of the watermelon with the herbal, savoury softness of the cheese mixture so do give it a bit of punch.
When ready to combine, cut the watermelon from its rind and the cut into small cubes.
Place in a mixing bowl. Three quarter slices of watermelon is about right for one serving, meal size. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. vinegar. I used the raspberry vinegar shrub that was posted two days ago but see what options are available in your pantry. Apple cider, red or white wine will also work. Toss the watermelon in the dressing.
Slice the smoked turkey in half and then in strips. You are looking for a shape that is easy to pick up with a fork and does not make you think you are having spaghetti.
When feta is used in a watermelon salad, the bonus is that it does not fall apart easily when tossed. The ricotta with herbs will tend to do that. It is best to add the cheese last in small spoonfuls and not to toss too much as the ricotta, when it falls apart, can create a messy kind of appearance and a clean presentation gets muddled.
Serve cold and if you feel like adding some carbs, try a simple fresh baking biscuit, with or without the herbs. A light meal for a hot summer day, rrunchy, squishy, sweet and salty.
Watermelon Salad from My Kitchen Wand