Charred Watermelon Salad

Adapted by
July 2021


Charred Watermelon:
Watermelon, diced into perfect cubes, rind reserved
Pickled Watermelon Rind:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
Ancho Chile Vinegar:
1 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces stemless, seedless ancho chiles
8 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup lime juice
Whipped Feta:
1 cup feta
1 cup cream cheese
2 cloves garlic
Basil, torn
To Assemble and Serve:
Celery, shaved as thinly as possible then stored in ice water
Black sesame seeds
Sea salt


For the Charred Watermelon

Place watermelon on a wire rack set over a sheet tray. Using a blow torch, char the tops of watermelon cubes. This can be done in the broiler if you don’t have a torch. Cool before needed.

For the Pickled Watermelon Rind

Using a peeler or knife, remove skin from reserved watermelon rind. Small-dice remaining rind then add to a pot with apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Let cool.

For the Ancho Chile Vinegar

In a pot over medium flame, add oil, chiles, and garlic. Heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour; strain. Whisk in lime juice. Season with salt. 

For the Whipped Feta

In a food processor, add feta, cream cheese, garlic, and a handful of torn basil. Process until smooth. 

To Assemble and Serve

In a bowl, toss Charred Watermelon with 2 tablespoons Ancho Chile Vinegar. Arrange dressed Charred Watermelon on a serving plate so they are not touching. Using a piping bag or squeeze bottle, place a small amount of Whipped Feta on top of each cube of Charred Watermelon so there’s still a bit of char showing. Top each Charred Watermelon cube with 1 to 2 pieces Pickled Watermelon Rind. Pat shaved celery dry then add enough over the top of the Charred Watermelon to cover. Garnish with black sesame seeds and sea salt.