Watermelon, Halloumi and Za’atar Salad

This watermelon, halloumi, and za’atar salad is a marvelous Middle Eastern concoction with watermelon, cheese, cucumber, olives, grapes, za’atar, and sumac. As refreshing as a dip in the Mediterranean.

Bowl of watermelon, halloumi and za’atar salad, which also has cucumbers, olives, and grapes

This simple summer supper jumbles everything you might set out with cocktails or wine before dinner—summer fruit and vegetables and cheese–into a salad that goes just as perfectly with that summer evening glass of chenin blanc.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Watermelon, Halloumi and Za’atar Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4
Print RecipeBuy the Levant cookbook

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  • One (8-ounce) block halloumi cheese, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 1 cup packed fresh green za’atar leaves (not chopped) (or use a combination of fresh thyme, oregano, with just a touch of marjoram)
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely diced fresh chile such as jalapeño (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • 3 pounds watermelon, seeded and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
  • 1 cup seedless black or red grapes (about 30 grapes)
  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers (about 7 oz), peeled and coarsely chopped


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, olives, za’atar, shallots, sumac, lemon juice, lime juice, oil, and chile, if using. Season with salt.
  • 2. Arrange the watermelon, grapes, and cucumber in a large serving bowl, add the cheese mixture, and serve.

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