There's no cooking required for this cold meze from Levant, the latest cookbook from Rawia Bishara of 20-year-strong Brooklyn restaurant Tanoreen. It's exactly what you want to eat on a hot summer night, but once watermelon season inevitably comes to a close, Bishara suggests bringing figs into the mix for a fall version.
Watermelon, Halloumi & Za'atar Salad
Recipe from Levant by Rawia Bishara (Kyle Books; 2018)
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 10 minutes
One 8-ounce block halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup pitted black olives
1 cup packed fresh green za'atar leaves (or oregano, which is more readily available)
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon sumac
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon finely diced fresh chile (such as jalapeño), optional
3 pounds watermelon, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup seedless black grapes
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, olives, za'atar, shallots, sumac, lemon and lime juices, olive oil, and chile, if using. Season with salt.
2. Arrange the watermelon, grapes and cucumbers in a large serving bowl, add the cheese mixture and serve.