I love spring (I really do) but recipes like this one have me excited for summer! This summer I’m mixing up my old tried and true watermelon salad recipe with a little spice and a whole lot of Mexican cheese. Watermelon Cantaloupe Salad with Cilantro and Cotija cheese that is…oh mama.
I still remember the first time I tried watermelon salad with feta and mint. It was at the menu tasting for our wedding in Palm Springs, and it was to die for! So refreshing and light and the saltiness of the feta cheese was mouthwatering with the sweet watermelon. Sort of like chili and salt on pineapple, wrong and so right! Back then, I thought the combination sounded crazy and now it’s the go-to summer salad in our house. Like that oldie but goodie, this version of the melon and cheese salad is seriously delicious.
Dressed in a chili lime vinaigrette and tossed with cilantro and cotija cheese, this summer salad is perfect with grilled carne asada which just so happens to be another summer regular in our house. I use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to scoop the melon into fun little bites and serve I serve it in the hollowed out melons. It’s like one big festive melon party in a bowl!
My mouth is literally watering just thinking about this salad! Seriously, is it summer yet?
photos by Leah Bergman
- 1/2 small seedless watermelon (3-4 lb.), cubed or balled
- 1/2 small cantaloupe, cubed or balled
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. red chili powder
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
- Place watermelon and cantaloupe pieces in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil, sugar, chili powder, lime zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour over melon and toss gently. Add remaining ingredients, tossing to coat. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve in hollowed out melons.
Does anyone else get really, really excited when strawberries are in season? This past weekend I picked up some of the sweetest strawberries from the grocery store and it reminded me of a recipe I haven’t made in some time…Roasted Strawberry Yogurt Parfaits!
It seems silly to roast strawberries when they are already so sweet and fresh, but it’s absolutely delicious and just intensifies the already pie-like flavor of fresh berries. Of course you could always pile on some fresh strawberries as well as the roasted. I say, the more the better! Here’s how to make this easy breakfast or brunch treat…
photos by Joanne Pio
- 16 oz carton fresh strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 17.6 oz plain Greek yogurt
- hemp granola
- Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and slice strawberries and arrange on a foil lined baking sheet
- Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes or until strawberries are roasted, bubbly and the juices have released.
- Once cooled, remove roasted strawberries and their juices to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to assemble parfaits.
- Layer yogurt, strawberries and granola. Top with a few Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds and serve.
Eat your peas! Honestly, I’ve always been a pea lover. Especially when they’re steamed, rolled in salted butter, and sprinkled with a little bit of pepper, yum-yum! Now that the twins have started eating solid foods, we seem to have an abundance of frozen peas on hand. Peas and bananas and avocado…
So yesterday, out of sheer hunger, and with ingredients I already had in my refrigerator, I made Sweet Pea and Ricotta Crostini.
I always have leftover ricotta cheese in my fridge after making lasagna, anyone else have this problem? Well, let me tell you! Ricotta cheese is delicious straight out of the fridge smeared on hot toasted garlic crostini and then devoured.
Top that with smashed peas, fresh mint, a sprinkle of black pepper and a few shavings of parmesan or pecorino-romano cheese and you have a little bite of heaven. It’s the easiest spring appetizer that does it’s very best to dress up the humble pea. I’d say it succeeds!
photos by Leah Bergman
- whole milk ricotta cheese
- frozen sweet peas
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh ground black pepper
- crusty bread sliced into 3/4" thick slices
- 1 garlic clove
- handful fresh mint leaves, sliced thin
- pecorino romano cheese, for shaving
- Steam the peas until tender and vibrant green. Mash the peas slightly along with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper and salt to taste. Toss in sliced mint.
- Drizzle bread slices with olive oil and toast under the broiler until dark golden brown. Remove the toasted bread from the oven and scrape the garlic clove over the tops to create garlic crostini.
- Spread some ricotta over the bread, sprinkle with the mint & peas mixture.
- Use a vegetable peeler to shave Pecorino cheese over each crostini.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.