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Light summer eating with watermelon and mascarpone cheese

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With the hot summer weather in July, fresh and light recipes are the way to go. Just because it is light doesn’t mean one needs to skimp on flavor. Combining fruits with cheese is a great way to create a light summer recipe that is still delicious, and much healthier than a bowl of chips or plate of crackers. This summer try combining watermelon with Mascarpone Cheese. The possibilities are endless and not only does it make for light summer eating, but it looks beautiful as well. Try these three summer recipes by top chefs including Giada de Laurentiis and Mario Batali on the Food Network.

First a little course on Mascarpone Cheese. Mascarpone is similar to what American’s call cream cheese. Mascarpone cheese comes from Italy and specifically the Lombardy region. The taste ranges from smooth to creamy to buttery and is used in many Italian desserts such as Tiramisu and cheesecakes. Mascarpone is especially delicious when mixed with fruit. Since the fat content is high, a little bit goes a long way. Watermelon when mixed with mascarpone pleases adults and kids.

Mascarpone-filled watermelon from Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network

Begin with a medium seedless watermelon, sliced and cut into cubes. 1 cup of Mascarpone Cheese, 1 cup of heavy cream, the zest of 1 lime, 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of agave syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a halved lime

Scoop out the center of each watermelon cube, and turn upside down on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl combine the cheese, cream, lime zest, cinnamon, agave syrup and vanilla with a hand mixer. Set aside. With half of the lime, squeeze it over the upside down watermelon cubes and then place upright. Next fill each cube with the mascarpone mixture. Top with mini chocolate chips and serve.

Watermelon with cool citrus mascarpone from Mario Batali on the Food Network

1 medium sized watermelon, 1 cup of mascarpone cheese, 1 orange (1/4 teaspoon zested and sectioned) juices reserved, 2 lemons (1/4 teaspoon zested and sectioned) juices reserved) and 1 grapefruit (1/4 teaspoon zested and sectioned) juices reserved and 2 tablespoons sugar

Cut the watermelon in half and using a melon baller, cut into balls and place into a shallow serving bowl. In a blender mix mascarpone with citrus zest, reserved juices and sugar. Drizzle the thick mascarpone mixture over the watermelon balls and place fruit segments over the top. Serve cold.

Watermelon and mascarpone parfaits from Food and Wine

Begin with 5 1/2 cups of diced watermelon, 1 teaspoon grated lime zest. 3 tablespoons minced mint, plus whole leaves for garnish. 1/14 cups mascarpone at room temperature, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and lime slices for garnish.

In a bowl combine watermelon, lime zest and minced mint. Refrigerate until chilled. In another bowl combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, lime juice and vanilla. Using a mixer beat at a low speed until fluffy. Spoon 1/3 of the watermelon into champagne flutes or wine glasses and top with half the mascarpone. Add another layer of watermelon and mascarpone. Top with a final layer of watermelon and garnish with mint leaves and lime slices. Serve.

Enjoy these light summer recipes as an appetizer, side, or dessert.

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