RECIPE: Watermelon, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad with Ricotta by Sarah Copeland

I had a wonderful time in Wanderlust Stratton. To celebrate, I’m releasing a final recipe from my new…

feast cookbook coverI had a wonderful time in Wanderlust Stratton. To celebrate, I’m releasing a final recipe from my new book, Feast. To connect with me,  visit me on InstagramTwitter, or on my site.

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Watermelon, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad with Ricotta

In the summer, I can’t imagine anything better than crisp, juicy watermelon, fresh cucum¬ber, and creamy avocado bathing together in a bowl of peppery finishing oil. The simplicity of this breezy salad doesn’t negate the attention to detail required. The watermelon and cucumber should be cool, if not downright cold, and the avocado perfectly ripe. Be sure to play up the peppery finish with the freshly ground pepper and olive oil.

Lavish dollops of fresh ricotta or shaved ricotta salata are like gilding the lily, especially if you’re lucky enough to have access to a great locally made cheese. As for presentation, you can make this salad into art by pulling out your best knife skills and cutting everything into perfect cubes. I’m more likely to chop haphazardly, in a rush to get these intoxicating ingredients straight to my plate.
Serves 4

8 oz/225 g seedless red or yellow watermelon or sugar baby watermelon, chilled
1 large seedless cucumber, chilled
2 firm, ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1⅓ cups/195 g ricotta salata cheese or 1¹⁄₃ cups/335 g fresh ricotta, at room temperature
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
Finishing oil for drizzling
Flaked sea salt such as Maldon and freshly ground pepper

Start with cold watermelon and cucumber straight from the fridge. Cut the watermelon, cucumber, and avocados into bite-size cubes and arrange artfully on a platter or toss them loosely together in your favorite salad bowl. Shave ricotta salata over the top or dollop with fresh ricotta, sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle with finishing oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Sarah CopelandSarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite and is the food director of Real Simple magazine. She spent six years as a lead recipe developer for Food Network, and has appeared as a guest chef on Good Morning America. Her articles and recipes have been featured in numerous magazines, including Fitness, Health, Food Network Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living, and she has contributed to several cookbooks. In 2012, Sarah published her first cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook, shortly after beginning her own marriage to a vegetarian. A former omnivore herself, Sarah was determined to make him wonderful, flavorful vegetarian food. Her new book, Feast, comes out of her commitment to that goal. She lives in New York City.