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Fourth of July is a time to get together and celebrate summer, good food and patriotism for America. And what's more American than dairy products made with wholesome milk from our state's dairy farms?

Why not support those farms and cheese processors by including their products in these tantalizing salads and red, white and blue desserts for your Independence Day celebration? Here are some dishes from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin that will have friends and families asking for the recipe.

Creamy Veggie Chopped Salad

Salad:

2 lg. sweet orange bell peppers, chopped (2 cups)

2. c. chopped seedless cucumber (1-2 med. cumcumbers)

2 celery ribs, chopped (1 cup)

1 lg. red onion, chopped (1 cup)

1 c. quartered grape tomatoes

1 can (16 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

12 oz. Wakker Creamy Gouda (aged 2-3 months) cheese, diced (3 cups)

Dressing:

1 c. mayonnaise

½ c. sour cream

3 T. lemon juice

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

3 oz. Nasonville Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)

½ c. snipped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. To make dressing, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Stir in parmesan and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until flavors are blended. Serves 8-10.

Tip: Freshly grated parmesan cheese is a popular addition to Italian foods, salads and grilled veggies. Also, try stirring parmesan into olive oil with a little cracked pepper to make a dipping sauce for warm, crusty breads.

American Flag Taco Dip

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Crystal Farms Original Cream Cheese, softened

1 jar (16 oz) chunky salsa

1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream

8 oz. Hook’s Colby cheese, shredded (2 cups)

½ c. chopped green onions

3 bags (9 oz. each) blue corn tortilla chips, divided

2 blocks (8 oz. each) Cedar Grove Organic Monterey Jack cheese

1 c. quartered grape tomatoes

1 lg. sweet red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

Beat the cream cheese, salsa, sour cream, colby and green onions in a large bowl until blended. Spread colby mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Measure 1 cup crushed tortilla chips; set aside the remaining chips for serving. Arrange the crushed tortilla chips in a rectangle on top of colby mixture, about 5 x 4-inches.

Cut 1 block (8 oz.) monterey jack in half into two blocks, each about 1/2-inch thick. Cut slices with a 1 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, using the handle of a small spoon to press and release cheese from cutter at star points. Place stars on chips. Shred 2 cups (8 oz.) from the remaining monterey jack.

Combine tomatoes and red bell pepper in a medium bowl. For stripes, arrange tomato mixture and shredded monterey jack in alternating rows, each about 1-inch.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until serving. Serve with the reserved tortilla chips. Serves 18-20.

Frozen Patriotic Torte

2 containers (8 oz each) Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone cheese

1 c. superfine sugar

Zest and juice of 2 med. lemons

1 ¾ c. heavy whipping cream

1 loaf (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into ½-inch cubes (3 cups)

4 c. fresh raspberries, divided

4 c. fresh blueberries, divided

Line a 9-inch springform pan with waxed paper. Beat mascarpone and sugar in a large bowl until blended. Beat in lemon zest and juice.

Beat cream in a separate large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture. Transfer 2 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture to a bowl; cover and refrigerate.

Fold pound cake into the remaining mascarpone mixture. Spread half of the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Line the edge of filling, near pan, with raspberries; top filling with 2 cups raspberries.

Spread the remaining cake mixture into pan. Line the edge of filling, near pan, with blueberries; top filling with 1 3/4 cups blueberries.

Spread the reserved mascarpone mixture over the top. Arrange the remaining blueberries in a star shape. Line the edge of filling, near pan, with the remaining raspberries.

Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove torte from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove sides of pan. Serves 8-10.

Tip: Mascarpone is a versatile cheese; it’s a delicious addition to both sweet and savory dishes. For a quick dessert or snack, spread it on oat crackers or shortbread cookies. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup, and top with fresh berries. Yummy!

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

Honey-Lime Dressing:

¼ c. honey

2 T/ lime juice

1 t. lime zest

¼ c. fresh mined mint

Fruit Salad:

15 oz. Sartori Classic Fontina cheese (3 wedges)

3 c. watermelon balls

3 c. blueberries

1 c. blackberries

Fresh mint, optional

To make dressing, whisk the honey, lime juice and lime zest in a small bowl. Stir in mint; set aside. To create fruit salad, cut fontina into 1/2-inch thick slices, each about 2-inches wide. Cut fontina slices with a 1 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, using the handle of a small spoon to press and release cheese from cutter at star points.

Combine watermelon and berries in a large serving bowl. Top with fontina. Drizzle with reserved dressing just before serving; gently toss salad to coat. Garnish with mint if desired. Serves 6.

All recipes and photo are © 2019 Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

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