My friend Robin, of Silk Purse and Sow's Ear, has been part of a CSA share this summer and I've loved following her veggie takes. As much as I'd love to do a CSA it's so hard when I travel so much, so I play voyeur with hers. And every week there seems to be one little watermelon, so when we had dinner last night I talked up this salad, and how she absolutely has to try it. But Robin is also lactose intolerant... so I've been trying to think of ways to make this without the cheese and still have it stand up pretty well.
Our first thought was tofu. Like a very hard and compressed tofu that had maybe been infused with a flavor of some sort. Soy? Oregano? Or scratch the tofu and go with roasted cashews- which are a softer, almost creamier nut and used in a lot of vegan and raw cooking as a cheese substitute. But I think you'd miss the salty sharpness. So maybe some red wine vinegar dashed over with sprinkles of flaky maldon sea salt. I'm still racking my brain trying to think of the perfect ricotta salata no dairy substitute. Any other ideas out there?
Watermelon Salad with Basil and Ricotta Salata
3 c. seedless watermelon- cut into 1" chunks
3/4 c. crumbled ricotta salata- can also substitute with feta
10-15 basil leaves- finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. After cutting, put watermelon in a large bowl. Add in the cheese and basil. Mix well and serve.