Watermelon Salad with Aleppo Pepper

This watermelon salad with Aleppo pepper is an elegant, easy dish that melds sweet and heat, combining pepper, watermelon, black olives, and mint. Comes together in just 15 minutes.

A black oval dish filled with watermelon salad with Aleppo pepper and black olives.

I just love this dish. It reminds me of walking out into the garden back home and picking a fresh watermelon for lunch—the vibrant green- and yellow-striped skin, smooth and almost waxy on top with dirt still clinging to the paler underside. With a perfect melon in hand, I’d head to our back porch and peel, chop, and toss it with some fresh herbs. Then I’d hit it with some Aleppo pepper and briny Greek olives for a vibrant, Mediterranean twist. Yum. Originally published July 31, 2012.Angelo Sosa

Watermelon Salad with Aleppo Pepper

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

Remove the rind from the watermelon and discard.

Cut the watermelon into large chunks, remove and discard all the seeds, and place the watermelon chunks in a serving bowl.

Add the salt, thyme, Aleppo pepper to taste, and olives and gently toss to combine. Drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with the mint. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Salty and sweet with a little heat. This watermelon salad recruits summer garden flavors and tosses them together without fuss. I served this salad with an herb-rubbed whole chicken butterflied and roasted on the grill. I would salt the watermelon first, letting it sit in a strainer for a few minutes to remove some of the water the melon will release. Adding the rest of the ingredients after that step will give the dressing an opportunity to cling to and season the melon.

It may seem silly to add anything, anything at all, to watermelon since it’s delicious on its own. However, I occasionally find that adding a little spicy heat brings out the sweetness even more. This recipe adds a nice touch with the olives, adding just a little brininess to the spice. Instead of the Aleppo pepper, I used the suggested combination of sweet paprika and cayenne (4:1 ratio). I probably used only a teaspoon’s worth, combined, since I prefer a milder spice and still wanted the fruit to shine through. This salad is great for the summer, and anytime, really.

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