Watermelon Salad with Labneh

Don’t mention the heat don’t mention the heat don’t mention the heat arghhhhh it’s just been so freakin HOT. All the time I’m walking around in a fug of lethargy and sweat thinking, ‘be grateful it’s sunny be grateful it’s sunny be grateful be grateful be grateful’. It’s been really hot though. I haven’t had the oven on. At least not every day. What I did manage was to strain some yoghurt and chop a watermelon; a watermelon that had been in the fridge and so made a glorious respite in the form of my lunch. The cool, sweet melon on top of creamy labneh, tickled through with a little red onion and mint. A lazy trickle of olive oil. I managed to toast the pittas, by slotting them into the toaster and backing the hell away for 2 minutes.

I’d eat this again and again. It’s a lovely thing to have around at BBQs too; a good little starter or side with grilled meats. It’s actually really damn good wrapped up in a kebab.

Watermelon Salad with Labneh Recipe

(serves 4 as a side dish, or two as a starter)

500g full fat natural yoghurt
1 chunk watermelon, about 1.2-1.5kg (that’s not actually very big – heavy, innit)
1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
Handful mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Squeeze of lime juice
Toasted pitta, to serve

Make labneh as per this recipe.

Skin, seed and finely chop the watermelon flesh. Mix it with the finely chopped onion, mint and a squeeze of lime juice. Spread the labneh on a serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Pile the watermelon salad on top and add a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted pitta.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Selena July 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Looks amazing, gotta be done this weekend. I’ve been reading your blog for years, you’ve persuaded me that Peckham’s where it’s at so I’m moving there next month. Excited!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 13, 2013 at 4:25 am

      YES! Come to us. Coooommme tooo ussssss.

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    Reply Eileen July 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    This salad sounds so good! Such a different & interesting twist on labneh with pita. 🙂

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    Reply Jacqueline July 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Looks good to me and I love that plate!

    I experienced the London heat last weekend. Phew! It was hot. Fine if you aren’t working.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 13, 2013 at 4:25 am

      Hi, where are you?

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    Reply Elizabeth July 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Looks lovely cool and refreshing. It’s winter down here in Oz and nice to hear all this complaining about the heat in the Northern Hemisphere while we’re enjoying a bit of cool weather, last summer was our hottest on record and it was so freaking hot it was unbearable. I’ll bookmark this salad to make when the heat hits us again.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Yeah I mean I’m moaning about 30C here, nothing compared to the heat you get!

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    Reply Pixie July 14, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I totally agree with you. It is too damn freaking HOT! In my conservatory, we having hanging candles.. well, HAD is more like it.. we now have stalactites and stalagmites of wax. It’s crazy. The rest are all molten pools which look how I feel.
    I So wish I could eat watermelon. This sounds lovely. I Adore the taste of it, but it gives me insane indigestion. If anyone knows a way to stop that happening I would love you forever. I really want to make watermelon sorbet , and just like, bathe in it… Or add some gin to it and numb the fact it’s so freakin’ hot..

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Argh! The candles! That’s a bit rubbish about the watermelon I have to say. Other than a Rennie garnish I’ve no idea, sorry.

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    Reply John Gionleka July 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    If I could rouse myself from the heat induced stupor, this is exactly what I would make. Alas, I am going to salivate over the picture till sunset. Hot summers, who needs them?

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      Reply Helen July 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      I certainly do not. This is horrible. Truly I am suffering with my pale, non-tanning British complexion and heat intolerance. I’ve put grapes in the freezer. I might go and stick my face in there.

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    Reply Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) July 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Yup, there’s a heat advisory out here. Scary stuff. This looks like a lovely snack to cool down with!

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    Reply Lucy July 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    The bunches of mint in TFC Camberwell at the moment are EPIC. I was just wondering what to do to start mine off and VOILA.

    Great salad. i put sumac on as well.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Lovely! Sumac perfect. Yeah the herbs are truly great in there at the mo. So pleased you enjoyed!

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    Reply Esther August 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Made this the even lazier way with labneh from Khan’s this weekend – extremely tasty and amazing combination of flavours!

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      Reply Helen August 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Lazy = good. Mostly. Very pleased you liked 🙂

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