Watermelon is one of the most versatile fruits around. Not only can it be used as a refreshing drink – essential on hot summer days – but it can also form the centrepiece of a number of delicious meals.

Here is a recipe from Sami Tamimi, a British-Palestinian chef and food author who now lives and works in London. Sami also co-owns six delicatessens and restaurants in the capital, where wholesale watermelon importer C and M Watermelon Imports is also based.

The recipe, which was first shared with readers of the Observer Food Monthly, is for Watermelon with fried halloumi and za’atar, a culinary herb. Sami describes the recipe as ‘an easy, refreshing summer salad’ with ‘a winning combination of cold watermelon and creamy, salty cheese’. The olives, za’atar, chilli and herbs add ‘layers of flavour that work in harmony’, notes Sami.


(Serves 4 as a starter or side course, or 2 as a main course)

  • halloumi cheese – 220g
  • olive oil – 3 tbsp
  • za’atar – 1 tbsp
  • lime – zest and juice of 1
  • 1 small watermelon – 1.5 kg
  • sea salt flakes
  • kalamata olives – 40g, pitted
  • green chilli – 1 medium, thinly sliced on an angle
  • oregano leaves – 1 tbsp
  • mint leaves – 10 large


Cut the halloumi into 1cm-thick slices, then pat them dry using kitchen paper.

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and then fry the cheese slices on a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer them onto a clean plate and leave to slightly cool.

Mix the rest of the olive oil, the za’atar and the lime zest and juice in a small bowl. When they are fully combined, put them to one side.

Next, slice the watermelon into quarters, remove the skin and cut each section of flesh widthways into 1cm-thick slices. Then cut each slice in half, into smaller triangles, about 6cm long and 3cm wide. You will need 700g of flesh (discarding the seeds if you prefer).

When ready to serve, spread the watermelon pieces out on a large platter or onto individual plates, followed by the halloumi. Spoon over the za’atar mixture and add a good sprinkle of salt.

Scatter the olives and chilli over it and finish with the oregano and mint leaves, tearing them as you go along, and serve immediately.

C&M Watermelon Imports Ltd – Wholesale Watermelon Importer

If you fancy trying out this recipe, then we would recommend getting your watermelon from us. As a leading wholesale watermelon importer, we only supply the highest quality fruit, while still keeping our prices competitive. We import our fruit from Europe, Asia and Africa.

The company, which is very much a family business, was founded by Chris ‘Melon Man’ Charalambides, pictured above, in 1973. Although we are based in London, we supply our watermelons to all major UK cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle. We can deliver anywhere inside the M25, and for destinations further afield throughout the UK and Ireland, we can arrange transportation and shipping.

C&M Watermelon Imports Ltd also import wine grapes from Italy, and we are partners with Giuliano Grasso. Our specialities are the Sangiovese and the Montepulciano grapes from the areas of Abruzzo, Puglia, Bari and Sicily, which are much appreciated by the UK’s Italian and Portuguese wine-drinking communities.

Contact on 020 8345 5555, 020 8884 4678, or 07855 796 776, to find out more about all our services, or click on this link for our full contact details.