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+ servings
Cucumber-Watermelon Salad with Chipotle and Sumac
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
A refreshing cucumber-watermelon salad that pairs spicy-sweet watermelon wedges with lime-infused cucumbers. Spicy and cooling, this effortless summer salad is a knockout. 

This watermelon salad is best moments after the elements have been joined; the next day, the flavors will meld a bit, but it will still be delicious. If you'd like to make it ahead for a party, keep all the elements separate until just before serving. 

A note on spices: while regular chili powder will be ok, chipotle chili powder (that is, chili powder made exclusively from ground up chipotle peppers) is best. The chipotle pops against the watermelon beautifully, while regular chili powder tastes a bit more muddy. Ground sumac is available in the spice aisle of specialty grocery stores and lends savory tang and texture to all kinds of dishes. If you don't have some already, pick up a jar. 
Recipe Type: Salad
Keyword: watermelon
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced 1/16-inch thick with a mandoline
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 a small watermelon or 1/4 of both a red and yellow watermelon, rind removed, seeded, and cut into triangles or half-moon wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (see note above)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, preferably barrel-aged sheep's milk feta
  • 2 tablespoons each minced basil, parsley, and mint
  1. Place cucumbers in a medium-sized bowl and toss with lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside while you prep the rest of the salad.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, sumac, pepper, and chipotle chili powder. Arrange watermelon slices on a platter and sprinkle all over with spice mixture (there will be a bit leftover).

  3. Drain accumulated juices from cucumbers, and tuck in groups all around the watermelon.
  4. Top salad with crumbled feta and minced herbs. Serve immediately.