WATERMELON SALAD WITH RICOTTA SALATA, ALMONDS, AND HERBS

variations:

1. Use pine nuts instead of almonds.

2. Use goat cheese instead of ricotta salata. Crumble the cheese over the top so it doesn't melt too much into the salad.

3. Add peeled and sliced peaches.

4. Add avocado and white beans.

5. Add garlic and mustard to the dressing.

6. Add peeled and sliced cucumber.

7. Replace lemon and herbs with cilantro, and chilies (like a salsa).

Very important: Don't make this salad ahead of time because you won't believe how much juice comes out of the watermelon. Serve right away. Use a slotted spoon if you're putting it on a plate with something else. Or, serve it in a bowl with all the juice. Dip buttered bread into the juice after you finish the salad.


ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar

4-6 tablespoons olive oil

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced or diced

about 4 cups cubed, de-seeded watermelon

about 1/2 cup ricotta salata

1/2 cup chopped herbs (any combination of parsley, mint, or basil)

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and lightly brown


directions:

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Taste. Make sure it's nice and tart because the watermelon require lots of tang. Place onions in the dressing, mix to coat well, and set aside for 10 minutes. Place watermelon in a large bowl. Using a fork, remove onions from the dressing and combine them with the watermelon. Gently mix. Slowly drizzle over some dressing and most of the herbs. Gently mix. Taste for seasoning. Add more dressing if needed. Use a fork to crumble the ricotta salata over the top. Sprinkle on the almonds. Add some more herbs. Serve immediately.

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