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Recipe Collection

Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad

Summer is too hot for heavy desserts, and cheese with watermelon is a classic combination in Turkish culture. It’s so refreshing. Using an ingredient with different techniques on the same plate is something that I love too, and pickled watermelon is definitely something you should add to your pantry! It’s quick and easy to make, and a great way to not waste the peel and rind of the watermelon.

Together with the fresh watermelon, cheese and chilli, thi a combination that is fresh and sweet.

Serves: 2

Season: Summer

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


3 slices of watermelon (approx. 375g)

For the pickled watermelon
100g watermeon peel
500g white wine vinegar
1 tbsp flaky sea salt
500ml water
130g caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coriander seeds

To serve
40g feta cheese
A few mint leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red chilli, sliced


  1. Slice off as much of the thick white rind from the watermelon peel as possible, discarding the green skin. Dice the rind into cubes of about 1cm. Set to one side.

  2. In a small saucepan, warm all the remaining ingredients for the pickled watermelon over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add in the cubes of watermelon rind and cook down gently for about 5-10 minutes or until soft and tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

  3. Arrange three slices of watermelon onto a serving platter, and top with the pickled watermelon and a little of its juice. Finish by crumbling over the feta, a few mint leaves, sliced red chilli (or a few dabs of chilli jam if you have some) and a good drizzle of olive oil.

— about the author

Esra Muslu first came to London when she was 18 to study, but later left to do a degree in Culinary Arts in Melbourne, Australia. She returned many years later, having headed up Soho House Istanbul and coming to London for a role at Shoreditch House, followed by head chef at Ottolenghi in Spitalfields. Just recently, she launched her own restaurant Zahter on London’s Carnaby Street.


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— the pantry post.

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