Ventura Strawberry & Persian Cucumber Salad
Chef Jason Paluska
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Chef Jason Paluska takes advantage of the height of strawberry season by highlighting the fruit in a fresh salad. He infuses ricotta cheese with lemon to add to the mix as the finishing touch. It makes for a savory variation on the classic pairing of strawberries and cream.
12 oz. ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. lemon olive oil or 3 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
9 oz. red watercress
9 oz. strawberries, sliced
6 oz. Persian cucumbers, sliced
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, as needed
Kosher salt, as needed
¾ cup toasted whole cashews
- For lemon-infused ricotta, combine ricotta cheese with lemon olive or extra-virgin olive oil and grated lemon peel. Set aside and refrigerate if not used shortly.
- Per order, in bowl, toss 1½ ounces watercress, 1½ ounces sliced strawberries, 1 oz. sliced cucumbers and 2 tablespoons cashews with lemon juice and olive oil to dress. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of ricotta and mix gently.
- On serving plate, arrange salad and dollop with a little more ricotta.
Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board