Food by VICE

Honeydew Melon and Fennel Salad Recipe

Bite-size chunks of melon and toasted pistachios make for the perfect summery salad.

by Ben Mims
Aug 15 2018, 1:00pm

Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


1 honeydew melon (3 1/2 to 4 pounds|2 kg), halved and seeds removed
kosher salt, to taste
1 large fennel bulb (about 1 pound|450 grams), stalks removed, halved lengthwise, and core removed
1/3 cup|90 ml orange juice
1/4 cup|60 ml olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup|40 grams raw pistachios
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 1/2 ounces|110 grams halloumi, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slabs
1/2 cup|12 grams packed cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt


1. Holding a melon half over a colander set in a large bowl, use a regular dinner spoon to carve out bite-size chunks of melon, letting them fall into the colander. Repeat with the other melon half, then sprinkle the melon with a pinch of kosher salt and toss to combine. Transfer the bowl and colander to the refrigerator and let the melon stand until drained of most of its liquid and chilled, at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, using a mandoline or sharp chef’s knife, thinly shave the fennel halves lengthwise then place in a medium bowl. Pour over the orange juice and 3 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the fennel until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pistachios, and cook, tossing in the oil, until lightly blistered and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the coriander, and season the pistachios with salt. Scrape the pistachios onto a cutting board, let cool for 10 minutes, then roughly chop. Transfer the pistachios into a small plastic container.

4. Return the skillet, with any oil and seasonings still left in it, to medium-high heat. Add the halloumi slices and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom 4 minutes. Flip the chunks with a fork or small spatula, and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3 minutes more. Transfer the halloumi slabs to a cutting board and let cool. Using a knife, chop the halloumi slabs into small, 1/4-inch cubes.

5. Remove the melon from the colander and add to the bowl of fennel along with the chopped halloumi. Toss everything to combine then pack into a large plastic container. Pack the salad into a cooler with ice on top. Pack the cilantro in a small plastic container as well.

6. When ready to serve, uncover the salad and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and cilantro. Season with sea salt and serve while cold or at room temperature.