The first amazing recipe is a homeade gelato that's super simple and easy to make with any kind of cheap ice-cream-making home device that contains basically gelatin, your fruit of choice (blueberries for us!) and ricotta cheese and cream.
Recipe: Blueberry Ricotta Gelato
·1 packet (1/4 oz) powdered gelatin
· 1 cup ripe blueberries
· 3/4 cup sugar
· 16 oz ricotta cheese (drained)
· 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Bloom the gelatin in 3 Tablespoons of cold water for 5 minutes.
2. Stir 1/2 of this gelatin mixture into 1/4 cup hot water (or heat gently over a double boiler or carefully in the microwave) until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Discard the remaining gelatin.
3. In the food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until smooth, and then add the blueberries, sugar, and gelatin, blending after each addition until creamy.
4. Beat the cream until thick (not stiff), and then fold in the blueberry mixture.
5. Churn in an ice cream maker to the desired consistency (check the manufacturer’s directions).
Note: I had to 1/2 this recipe because I have a small ice cream maker--the kind with the container that you pre-freeze.)
6. Serve when set, or place in a chilled container and freeze (this gelato freezes pretty hard, so you will need to thaw slightly before serving.) But I recommend eating it right away - soooo good on a hot day, and not too sweet!
The second is a simple salad that I thought I had been so original when I made up - yet this week three different cooking and health magazines featured variations of it!
Recipe: Grilled Watermelon and Ricotta Salata Salad (Red and White!)
It involves quickly grilling slices of watermelon (yes, that's right, I grill my watermelon - gives it a whole new flavor!) throwing some slices of riccota salata cheese (you can try feta or mozzarella as well) on top of them with whatever greens you have handy (a little arugula works well.) Then, a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar - so delicious! If you're like me and grow herbs in the summertime, mint or basil both work well on top. Eat while the watermelon is still hot!