Sprinkle watermelon with Aleppo chili pepper, lime zest, and salt for an icy-cold sweet and spicy treat that’s perfect for summer.
There’s some days that you just want a super simple snack to pair with that yummy bottle of wine that you have in the fridge. It’s summer, it’s hot out, and you just want to sit on the back patio with an ice cold glass of rosé and a gossip magazine. You know what pairs fantastically with pink wine and trashy magazines? Watermelon with Aleppo Pepper and Lime.
It’s sweet, like Taylor. Spicy, like Beyoncé. Tangy, like Khloé. And salty, like Kanye.
In Mexico, a popular street snack is fruit with chile powder and lime, or fruta con chile y limon. There are lots of options, but the most common you’ll see are mango, jicama, oranges, coconut, pineapple and watermelon.
Today, I’m spicing up some super refreshing watermelon with one of my favorite new spices – Aleppo pepper. Grown in Syria and Turkey, aleppo is fruity, with aromas of cumin, a bit of saltiness and a moderate amount of heat. I found it a specialty spice store here in Portland, but you can also find it easily online. If you’re in a pinch and looking for a substitute, try sprinkling on some crushed red pepper or paprika (or a combination of the two).
The most important thing to keep in mind when making this dish? Make sure your watermelon is ice cold. Sometimes I even like to pop it in the freezer for a few minutes before eating it. Other than that, this recipe is toss and go.
For everyday snacking, I like to just cut the watermelon into wedges. However, if you’re looking to dress things up a bit, it’s fun to cube the watermelon and skewer it. You can either spMediarinkle the spices on, or set out separate ramekins with the salt, lime zest, and Aleppo pepper, allowing your guests to customize their skewers with the seasonings of their choosing.
Either way you serve it, be sure to have some chilled to go alongside. One of my all time favorite wines for pairing with watermelon is rosé – They compliment each other so perfectly. And one of my favorite rosés? Casal Garcia. I was first introduced to it at happy hour at one of my favorite restaurants here in Portland, Radar. It’s got a slight bit of effervescence, and big, vibrant flavors of berries and melon. I can’t get enough of it. Plus, it’s often on sale for under $10 a bottle. That’s my sweet spot for patio sippers.
Summer is going by fast. Be sure to relish in some of the finest things that the season has to offer: Watermelon, rosé, and lawn chairs on sunny patios (and trashy magazines).
Watermelon with Aleppo Pepper and Lime
- 1 pound seedless watermelon cut into wedges, 3-
- 1 1/2 tsp . flaky sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp . Aleppo pepper*
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
Arrange the watermelon wedges on a platter and drizzle with lime juice. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, lime zest and sea salt.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Rosé is great for pairing with spicy foods, and often has aromas of watermelon, making it a natural companion for this dish.
- Bubbles are another fun pairing, just be sure to go for something with a hint of sweetness to it so that it won’t compete with the sugars in the watermelon or the heat of the peppers. Try a sparkling Vinho Verde, Moscato or Prosecco.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Casal Garcia, which is awesome because I’m a huge fan of their wines.