If you go wandering through the internet looking for watermelon salad recipes, you will inevitably find that 109% of them are that classic, delicious yet predictable pairing of watermelon and feta cheese.
But I say, why does feta get to have all the fun?
Watermelon does absolutely benefit from having some lightly savory accompaniments. The typical feta combo brings two things to the party: tangy creaminess and contrasting salinity.
So here, my version of watermelon salad lays the diced watermelon on top of a creamy non dairy yogurt and then goes to town on salty, savory toppings to bring out the fruit’s sweetness without overwhelming it.
You may think my chilling of the watermelon in the recipe below is superfluous, but it really ups your watermelon salad game for a few reasons. The cut watermelon releases some of its juices as it’s chilling out in the fridge, which makes for a more crisp and less watery fruit.
Once chilled, the watermelon has more of a bite and satisfying texture. Just make sure that you have picked a ripe, but not mushy watermelon to start out with. We want the end result to be a watermelon salad with a bit of snap to contrast the creamy yogurt below.
Instead of just salting the watermelon like I usually do, I decided to up the savory elements of this watermelon salad even further. A swoosh of fruity olive oil – pick one whose flavor you like on its own! – and a generous sprinkle of dukkah seasoning brings this dish firmly out of sweet fruit salad territory and, along with the pistachos, adds some contrasting textures.
I’m particularly partial here to the Trader Joe’s dukkah seasoning blend, because I think the fennel and anise go gorgeously with watermelon.
(I’ve linked it here so you can take a peek at the ingredients, but I highly recommend you buy it in stores, since online prices can be straight up exorbitant!)
Lastly, some fresh lime zest and herbs bring everything together. I love to use tarragon here, but you could also swap in mint if you prefer or can’t find the tarragon in the first place. Season with some flaky sea salt and coarse ground black pepper right before serving for a watermelon salad that’s like no other.Print
Watermelon Salad with Yogurt, Dukkah & Olive Oil
Feta doesn’t get to have all the fun! Take a break from the typical watermelon meets feta salad with this fun twist. This watermelon salad has crisp fruit piled on top of creamy yogurt, then is generously sprinkled with a savory spiced dukkah seasoning. To finish things off, it’s drizzled with fruity olive oil and scattered with pistachio, lime zest & herbs.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes + chilling time
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: fruit salad
- Method: no cook
- 3 cups / 600 g fresh watermelon, about 1/2 medium seedless watermelon
- 1 cup / 240 g non-dairy yogurt
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml fruity extra virgin olive oil
- 2 – 4 tbsp / 20 – 40 g dukkah seasoning, see notes
- 1 – 2 tbsp / 10 – 20 g roasted pistachios
- handful of chopped fresh tarragon, or dried tarragon to taste
- handful of chopped fresh mint, or dried mint to taste
- fresh lime zest, optional
- flaky sea salt, to taste
- fresh cracked rainbow peppercorns, to taste
CHILL: Dice the watermelon into bite size pieces, then transfer them to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least an hour or two or preferably overnight. This gives the watermelon time to release some of its juices, chill and crisp up more firmly.
DRAIN: Gently tip the chilled watermelon cubes into a colander or strainer, draining off and discarding any excess liquid.
ARRANGE: Spoon the yogurt into the center of a serving plate or bowl. Use the back of the spoon to swirl and smooth the yogurt so that it covers the bottom of the serving dish in a thin, even layer. Scoop the chilled watermelon on top of the yogurt and drizzle it with the olive oil.
GARNISH: Sprinkle the watermelon salad with dukkah seasoning, pistachios, fresh or dried herbs and lime zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.
- There are myriad different varieties of dukkah blends out there. I’m partial to this one from Trader Joe’s or this dukkah seasoning on Amazon because I think the fennel and / or anise in both of those work so well with the watermelon, but it is of course much cheaper in stores! I’ve linked them both here so you can see the full ingredients list but don’t recommend you purchasing at this inflated online price.