Watermelon Carpaccio l heinstirred.com

This is one of those combinations that is a bit out of the ordinary but I think it works really well. The play of salty and sweet has been around for a long time, made even more popular with the salted caramel trend. And this Watermelon Carpaccio is a spin on the trend, well suited for al fresco lunches and dinners as we enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

Watermelon Carpaccio l heinstirred.com

Here I combine the sweetness of the watermelon with the saltiness of the charcuterie and the earthy heat of the Harissa dressing. The watermelon is not overly sweet so does not overpower the salty flavour of the meat. The crunch of the watermelon also gives texture to the dish, making a beautiful, refreshing and summery starter. And with very little effort too.

I love the soft hues of pink and red in this dish. Keep in the colour scheme with some crimson micro herbs. They add extra splashes of colour and a herby freshness to the dish.

Watermelon Carpaccio l heinstirred.com

Check the heat of the Harissa before adding more chilli. Also bear in mind that some of the meat could be quite spicy so add sparingly as you do not want the heat to overpower the dish. If you are not keen on Harissa paste, I would make a zesty dressing with some good quality South African olive oil, a mashed small clove of garlic, fresh lemon juice and some zest, and a grinding of  salt and pepper. Whisk it all together and dress the carpaccio.

Watermelon Carpaccio


  • 12 thin slices fresh watermelon
  • 12 slices charcuterie of your choice, Spanish Chorizo, Prosciuto, Coppa, Salami
  • micro herbs for garnish
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbs harissa paste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • pinch of salt
  • dried chilli flakes (optional depending on the heat of the harissa)


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, whisk well, taste if it needs more acidity and add another squeeze of lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Arrange the watermelon and charcuterie on a platter on individual small plates.
  3. Garnish with the micro herbs, drizzle with the dressing and serve
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