Moroccan Watermelon Salad

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Yes, that’s right. Moroccan watermelon salad! It was such a hit at our family reunion that everyone wanted the recipe. I’m sharing it with you so you can try it on your family and friends. They’ll love it too. This Moroccan Watermelon Salad is fresh, healthy, simple to make and absolutely delicious. It’s a great summer side dish and it takes no time at all! serve it over quinoa or rice and dinner is served.

WATERMELON SALAD

a cool watermelon salad with feta, cucumber, and mint. Very excellent! Serve with simple new potatoes and chicken from Morocco.

Watermelon salad with cucumber, feta and mint. Served with Moroccan chicken and new potatoes.

Give watermelon salad a try if you haven’t already! Given how refreshing and light it is, it is ideal for the middle of summer.

New potatoes and Moroccan chicken tenderloins go along surprisingly well. One of the best finishing touches is the yogurt sauce. Please share your thoughts on this dinner!

WATERMELON SALAD

DIFFICULTY: EASY

READY IN: 35 MINUTES

SERVES: 4

a cool watermelon salad with feta, cucumber, and mint. Very excellent! Serve with simple new potatoes and chicken from Morocco.

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

  • 1/4 large watermelon (refrigerated)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 100 g feta cheese (3.5oz)
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves

DRESSING

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey

POTATOES

  • 700 g new (baby) potatoes (1lb 9oz)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

CHICKEN

  • 600 g chicken tenderloins (1lb 5oz)
  • 2 tsp Moroccan seasoning
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt (80ml)
  • 2 Tbsp aioli
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. MAKE SALADRemove skin from watermelon and cut the watermelon into cubes or triangles. Dice cucumber and feta and thinly slice red onion. Place watermelon, cucumber, feta and onion in a salad bowl. Sprinkle over the mint leaves (break up larger ones into small pieces).
  2. MAKE DRESSINGWhisk together lime juice, oil and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. COOK POTATOESPlace potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, until tender.
  4. COOK CHICKENCombine chicken, Moroccan seasoning and oil in a bowl. Heat a large frying pan or chargrill pan on medium-high. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes each side, until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together yoghurt, aioli and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. SERVEDrizzle dressing over salad. Drain cooked potatoes, drizzle over oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve salad with chicken and potatoes. Add a dollop of the yoghurt sauce (delicious with both the chicken and potatoes).

RECIPE NOTES

WINE MATCH: A Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp Rosé.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Make sure aioli is gluten-free.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: I used bottled lime juice for the dressing, seeing as fresh limes are so expensive at the moment. If you want to add more veggies to the salad, cooked beetroot makes a great addition. Otherwise, add a handful of baby kale or baby spinach leaves.
STORING AND REHEATING: Salad is best when watermelon is cold, and dressing is added just before serving. Potatoes and chicken can be stored together and reheated in the microwave or a frying pan. Store yoghurt sauce separately.

Watermelon Rind Salad (Moroccan Inspired)

Watermelon always makes me think of those dreary, humid summer days. The luscious, cool crimson flesh of the watermelon is the ideal counterbalance to the sweltering heat. I adore watermelon, but the fact that it is so heavy and high in water content prevents me from purchasing it very often. Even when a half of a watermelon is offered at a very low price of only 30 cents per pound, you take it to the register only to discover that it weighs 11.3 lbs and costs a staggering $3.40!

After you consume the meat and discard the rind at home, you discover that you just wasted 5.5 pounds, or roughly half, of the initial 11.3 pounds of watermelon. That makes the watermelon you consumed seem rather pricey, doesn’t it?

One urban legend that we are exposed to as children is that eating watermelon rinds can give you an upset stomach.

Happy to report that this is untrue! You won’t get an upset stomach by eating watermelon rind, and it’s actually rather healthy. Like with most fruits and vegetables, the rind in this particular item has a higher concentration of vitamins than the interior, making it a healthy meal option. Studies have shown that watermelon rind has a wide range of health benefits, including being a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals.

Eating watermelon rind isn’t exactly a novel concept; in fact, pickled watermelon rind is a popular Southern delicacy. However, you might find it a little more difficult to come up with ideas on what to do with all that priceless white material if you search the internet for watermelon rind recipes that don’t include pickling. So I made the decision to always share my favorite watermelon rind recipes with my readers as tried-and-true dishes.

You don’t have to believe me, though; I prefer to taste-test recipes that are a little bit “out there” before I publish them. I adapted this recipe from one my mother used to create Moroccan-style sweet potato salad and served it to friends at a get-together. Everyone agreed that it was incredibly excellent despite not being able to identify the specific vegetable I used, which gives me the assurance to say that you will enjoy this recipe as well.

Moroccan Inspired Watermelon Rind Salad Recipe

Ingredients

Rind of half a watermelon

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ginger

3 tbsp lemon

2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp garlic powder (or more, to taste)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley

1/4 cup scallions or home grown green onions (optional)

Salt (to taste)

Cayenne pepper (to taste)

Instructions

1. Cut the watermelon rind into strips (if it isn’t already) approximately one inch thick. Cut off whatever pink part remains on the rind. Cut off the outer green peel, as it isn’t edible. You can use a peeler or knife to do this, but a peeler will usually need to go over the peel at least 2 or 3 times, as the peel is quite thick. 

2. Cut the watermelon rind into squares or rectangles (however big you want them to be in your salad). I usually make mine approximately 1 inch by 1.5 inches, give or take. 

3. Steam the watermelon rind until it is soft. The watermelon rind should turn a pale yellow or orange-ish or even pinkish color. (The color may not be uniform, and that is fine.)

4. Let the watermelon rind cool down.

5. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 

6. Let sit at least half an hour for the flavors to meld. If desired, add more spices at this point.

7. Enjoy!

Note: This recipe can be made with pumpkin cubes, butternut squash cubes, sweet potato cubes, or carrot chunks. My mom frequently makes it with all of the above and it is terrific. I decided to make it with watermelon rind because the taste of watermelon rind reminds me of pumpkin, with a touch of zucchini.

Spicy chicken with orange & watermelon salad

Moroccan harissa is a hot sauce or paste consisting of cumin, garlic, oil, and caraway seeds.

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

Spicy chicken with orange & watermelon salad

  • 2 oranges (480g)
  • 4 chicken thigh cutlets (800g), skin removed
  • 2 tablespoon harissa sauce
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 750 gram piece watermelon, peeled, sliced thickly
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
  • 200 gram soft fetta cheese

Method

Spicy chicken with orange & watermelon salad

  • 1Finely grate 2 teaspoons rind from oranges; segment oranges over small bowl, reserve juice
  • 2Combine rind, chicken, sauce, garlic and oil in medium bowl; season.
  • 3Cook chicken on heated oiled covered barbecue (or grill or grill pan).
  • 4Meanwhile, combine orange segments, reserved juice, watermelon, mint and nuts in medium bowl; crumble cheese over salad.
  • 5Serve chicken with salad.

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