Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks

July 21, 2016

Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d’oeuvres.

Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks | Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. Get the vegetarian and gluten-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

It’s time for July’s Recipe ReDux! This month’s theme was a fun one and made me get more artistic in the kitchen than I’m used to. The challenge:

Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape!

With produce galore, now’s a great time to enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables. Show us how you’re serving the bounty of gardens and orchards in creative cuts and shapes like ribbons, noodles, cut-outs, etc.

Since I still don’t have a spiralizer (I know, I know!), I knew I couldn’t go that route – remember the last time I tried using my hand-held spiralizer?! And anyhow, I knew you’d get lots of veggie noodles from my fellow ReDuxers, and they did not disappoint – just scroll down to the end of my post to check out their recipes.

There’s been no shortage of summer fruit and veggie recipes here at Small Bites by Jessica in the past few months. Remember my Grilled Stone Fruit with Honey Lemon Yogurt? And what about my Strawberry Arugula Salad with Fennel, Toasted Almonds, and Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette? Don’t forget my Peach Panzanella Salad and Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats. Oh, of course lots of watermelon. Watermelon Mojitos, Watermelon, Feta and Mint Skewers, and now these Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks.

I’ll be honest – these watermelon stacks are not all that different in flavor profile from the watermelon skewers I shared for May’s Recipe ReDux. But what can I say? I love watermelon! And we have a lot of it in our house this time of year, so finding new ways to use it is required.

I do of course make my Watermelon Salsa (I just made it last weekend for a barbecue we hosted), and my Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho is another favorite, especially once the crop of local tomatoes comes in August, but there’s no harm in another watermelon recipe. I am sure you will agree, especially after you check this one out and taste it for yourself.

Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks | Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. Get the vegetarian and gluten-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

This recipe is super easy, nutrient-rich, hydrating for the hot summer days, comes together in no time, and looks fancier than it is. Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegetarian – so many reasons that make it a great option for serving company at your next backyard barbecue!

Another thing that’s great about this recipe is that you can modify it based on your preferences. You can use any cookie cutter you want to make the watermelon shapes or even just cut them into squares. I chose flowers because they’re pretty and I knew my kids would like them. You can serve the stacks with different cheeses – goat cheese or even grilled halloumi would be delicious.

The lemon mint ricotta spread is basically the same as the filling I used for my Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries. The ingredient amounts in the recipe are basically the minimum amount of spread I could make and unless you’re making a lot of watermelon stacks, you won’t use it all. So save the rest to spread on toast or crackers, serve with grilled fruit, toss with pasta, or make a batch of ravioli. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ways to use it up – I certainly had no trouble!

Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks | Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. Get the vegetarian and gluten-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.
5 from 5 votes
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Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks

Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d'oeuvres.
Course Appetizer, Hors D'oeuvres
Cuisine Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Jessica

Ingredients

  • Watermelon, cut into 1-inch thick slabs
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Using flower cookie cutters of three different sizes, cut watermelon into flowers. Towel dry watermelon pieces to eliminate excess moisture.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, lemon zest and juice, mint, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon a dollop of the lemon mint ricotta on the largest size watermelon flower. Top with next largest watermelon flower. Add another dollop of ricotta mixture and top with smallest watermelon flower. Top with a final dollop of ricotta mixture.
  4. Repeat with remaining watermelon flowers. Arrange watermelon stacks on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped mint.

Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks | Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious and delicious summer appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. Get the vegetarian and gluten-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Do you get artistic in the kitchen?

What’s your favorite summer fruit or vegetable to play with in the kitchen?

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  1. This is such an awesome idea Jessica! I fall short in creativity when it comes to presentation, and many ideas are just too over the top to be worth it for me. But these look so doable and it’s such a wonderful flavor pairing!

    1. Thanks so much Alisa! I have a hard time with presentation sometimes too, so was super excited that this one came out as good as it did. Helps w my kids to make food look fun!

    1. Hehe…I sure have! I love all the summer produce – it’s just so good! Thanks so much! I hope Sienna enjoys them – I bet she’d have fun making them with you too!

  2. After making my heart cut out watermelon, I was thinking it would be fun to make some kind of cookie with them..but couldn’t think of any good icings to go with it. Your recipe is perfect inspiration for just that! Can’t wait to try!

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  7. These are so cute! Love it for a fresh summer dessert. I’m thinking I’ll make a cashew cream instead of ricotta then I’m good to go. I could even get fancy and make these for camping this week! Thanks 🙂

  8. These are just about the cutest summertime stacks I’ve ever seen! I even think I have a cookie cutter just that shape to make these perfectly 🙂

  9. How cute are these!?? I am such a fan of watermelon and cheese together. It’s such a delightful combination and these are simply stunning.

  10. These look so cute and delicious! Perfect for a party big or small. I bet your daughter’s love them too, I know mine would!

  11. Aaah. You need to join the world of spiralizing. But these babies are definitely so much fun as well! Great summer eat!

  12. These are way too cute! Lemon mint ricotta sounds divine. I seriously haven’t heard of that combo before. Seems like the perfect thing for our shakespeare in the park picnic this weekend.

    1. Thanks so much! It’s a super yummy combo – I’ve added it to ravioli and other pasta dishes before as well. Hope you enjoy it and Shakespeare in the park 😉

  13. These are the most adorable appetizers I’ve ever seen! Love the flavour combo as well! Absolutely perfect for summer 🙂

  14. Wow, these are so pretty! You’re so talented and artistic.

    We haven’t had a good selection of watermelon in my area this summer, which is such a bummer because watermelon is delicious.

    1. Aw thanks so much Rachel – you’re way too kind 🙂 Sorry to hear you haven’t had good watermelon – that really is a bummer. Summer should be all about watermelon!

  15. These cute bites look just perfect. So summery and refreshing. It’s perfect for parties. I absolutely love these.