Watermelon, Olive and Homemade Ricotta Salad

Watermelon Ricotta Salad

I don”t like Labor Day weekend that much. Weird, right? I mean, three-day weekends are the best and all. But to me, Labor Day signifies the end of summer and I love summer! I don”t want it to end! Luckily here in Texas your typical “summer” weather lasts from about April-October. Still though, the fact that September is coming is stressing me out—I feel like I have to cram in as much summer fun and flavor as possible.

One of my very favorite summertime foods is watermelon. I”m obsessed. It”s obviously delicious and refreshing on its own, but I”ve also gotten really into using it as a component in more savory recipes. I always love a good watermelon and feta salad, but here”s something even better. Our friends at Pompeian sent over a recipe for a savory watermelon salad with olives and homemade ricotta. Game changer! If you”re looking for a unique side for your last barbecue of the summer (sob!) I think this would do the trick.

Watermelon, Olive, & Homemade Ricotta Salad

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Dorie Greenspan’s Olive Oil Ice Cream

Every two months I host a cookbook club meeting. A cookbook is chosen (usually at the prior meeting) and friends and family all choose a dish to make from it. Then we all get together to talk about the dish we chose, eat the hell out of all the food, and drink an ungodly amount of beer. While flipping through our next cookbook, Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, trying to pick my dish from the hundreds of incredible recipes, this recipe for olive oil ice cream caught my eye. A basic custard base, but some of the heavy cream is swapped out for olive oil. One of Dorie’s suggestions is topping it off with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt flakes. The end result is a sweet and incredibly nuanced ice cream. My five year-old son declared it the best ice cream yet (he has rich five year-old tastes).

Olive Oil Ice Cream

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Mojo Cubano: The Most Garlic You’ve Ever Eaten

When you love something, really love something, you can never have enough. I feel this way about a lot of things — primarily food and alcohol-related, of course — and I definitely feel this way about garlic. So I was obviously thrilled when my friend, Vanessa, who was giving me a Cuban cooking lesson (! best night ever, and there are more recipes where that came from) mentioned, “You like garlic, right? I bought plantain chips and I really wanted to make this dipping sauce for them…it’s basically just pure garlic and it’s one of my favorites.”

Turns out this is one of the easiest recipes ever, and yeah, it does pack a punch. If you’re one of those people who is averse to “smelling like garlic” (personally, I never understood those people) this is probably not the snack for you. I’ve been cruising the Cuban recipe sites (normal) and it looks like many of them use a version of this as a marinade or sauce for all kinds of dishes. Whatever, we like this as a straight-up dip for our fried plantains. Hardcore eaters.

Mojo Cubano Dip

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Top 10 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

It’s no secret that May 21, 2011 is Judgment Day—the end of the world—as so eloquently articulated (or do we mean ridiculously predicted?) by Family Radio Worldwide’s Harold Camping. Here at ES, we think the best solution to eminent annihilation is to indulge at one of our favorite foodie destinations. And if some of us survive, at least it’ll be easier to get a reservation.

10. English Pudding All Night

The stickiest way to finish up your time on Earth is at the  Three Ways House Hotel in Gloucestershire, England, where they have created the Pudding Club, an “end of the world” experience where you can indulge in a tasting of no less than seven puddings, from oriental ginger to jam roly-poly, and even stay the night in a pudding-themed bedroom. Talk about going out with a bang.

9. Salt-Baked Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon Butter and Anchovy Mayo

Chef Megan Johnson at Elsewhere Restaurant in New York City has created a deceptively simple dish combining the best of all things fatty, starchy, salty and creamy—all the palette pleasers you’ll miss when forced to live on dirt and ants if you’re lucky enough to survive.

8. Mexican-Style Street Corn with Cotija Cheese and Ancho Chile Powder

Austin’s La Condesa restaurant not only serves up more than 100 varieties of blue agave tequila (an essential for pre-Judgment Day partying), but also offers this signature south-of-the-border street corn side dish. If the world really were ending soon, we’d start covering every vegetable we eat in cotija cheese and chili. (Photo: Shelly Roche)

7. East Mountain Pork Live Paté

A beautifully decadent house-made paté is accompanied by onion confit and rye toast at Mezze, a classic bistro and bar nestled in the Berkshires with views straight to heaven. (Photo: Gregory Nesbit)

6. 1949 Chevalier-Montrachet Maison Leroy

Our bomb shelter of choice would have to be the St. Regis Deer Valley’s wine vault, stocked with more than 1,000 different rare labels. Acclaimed sommelier Mark Eberwein recommends popping one of these 60-year-old whites for your last night on earth. (Photo: My Wines and More)

Next: Top 5 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

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