Ventura Strawberry & Persian Cucumber Salad

Ingredientsstrawberries, Cheese
Menu PartSalad

Chef Jason Paluska

Lucky Penny

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.


Lemon-Infused Ricotta

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. On serving plate, arrange salad and dollop with a little more ricotta.

Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board

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