Watermelon blocks with spiced seeds


Preparation info

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These are great little bites for a hot day, and are easy to do. As long as the watermelon flesh is dark red, the chances are it will be sweet and flavoursome. If there isn’t a cut-open half of watermelon on the stall or the shelf, ask for one to be cut in half. Greengrocers usually sell half watermelons anyway, so if you reject it they shouldn’t mind.


  • ¼ watermelon
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds


  1. Cut the watermelon flesh into bite-sized square blocks. Leave to drain on kitchen paper to dry them a bit. Don’t bother to remove the pips – they are nice and crunchy.
  2. Put the za’atar, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds into a dry frying pan and toast for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning. Put the seeds into a pestle and mortar with the salt. Pound to a fairly fine mix, then empty into a shallow bowl. Stir in the pepper and nigella seeds.
  3. Gently press the watermelon blocks into the seeds to coat them on all sides.
  4. Eat with your fingers or a cocktail stick. If the latter, don’t put the sticks in the blocks before serving, because after a while the juice loosens them. Hand the blocks and sticks round separately.