Watermelon Panzanella

17 August 2023 Vegetarian Friendly
It’s peak watermelon season and while it hasn’t really felt much like summer of late here, I know it’s sunny somewhere.  Regardless of the weather, watermelon is in abundance and incredibly satisfying in just about every iteration. So here’s a little salad to help celebrate the end of the season and to help you reach watermelon nirvana.

This salad screams summer. There are a couple of steps here, but they can be prepped well in advance and assembled just before serving, making it a real crowd pleaser for your end of summer gatherings.  I love using some of my pickled watermelon rind here but it’s not essential if you don’t have any to hand.  It is a super special treat though…..

This is a great use for my croutons. They are the essence of a panzanella, but if you don’t have any to hand or if you want to make this gluten free, this will still be a wonderful summer watermelon salad. Likewise if you prefer a dairy free version, this salad still works without the feta (but you might want to add a little extra salt).

However you choose to make this salad your own, enjoy it!

Watermelon Panzanella

  • 1/4 (approx 1kg) large watermelon cut into bite size (2-3cm) cubes, seeds mainly removed
  • 2 spring onions
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar (or watermelon pickle juice)
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or chili flakes
  • 125ml olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 loaf day old sourdough
  • 750g (approx) mixture heirloom or cherry tomatoes (the more colourful the better)
  • 4 Lebanese / Persian cucumbers
  • 8-10 radish
  • 100g pickled watermelon rind (or to taste)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced including their greens
  • bunch of mint leaves (or basil), washes and leaves picked from the stems
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 150g crumbled feta (optional but delicious
  • Croutons
  • First start by making your croutons. (they can be made upto a few days in advance) Recipe is here
  • Thinly slice the spring onions and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Cover with the lime juice and zest, vinegar or pickle juice, salt, Aleppo pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. Allow everything to hang out together for a few minutes while you assemble the remaining ingredients. This is essentially the salad dressing.
  • Chop the watermelon into bite size chunks and add to the bowl with the spring onions.  Chop the tomatoes in half if they are cherry or similar size wedges if they are larger and add them to the watermelon.  Slice the cucumbers in half lengthways (or quarters depending on their size) and into 1cm pieces.  Add to the bowl with the tomatoes and watermelon. Quarter the radishes and add into the mix along with the drained pickled watermelon pieces. Add the croutons and the mint and rocket leaves and feta
  • Gently mix everything together (i like to use my hands for this to make sure everything is evenly coated and without smooshing the watermelon or tomatoes)
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to a serving plate or shallow bowl leaving behind any excess liquid and drizzle a little more dressing over the top.  I sometimes like to reserve a few leaves and some feta for decoration but it’s not essential.
  • Here’s to full on summer celebrating.
Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on info@buildingfeasts.com