Persian Watermelon Rose Salad


Scoops of watermelon are sprinkled with chopped dates and pistachios. With each bite you get sweet watermelon, chewy candy- like-dates and crunchy pistachios with a hint of the exotic which comes from rosewater. The rosewater is dominant, yet subtle. Teasing and suggestive, it brings out the flavor of the watermelon without overwhelming it. A perfect match.

If you haven’t tried rosewater before, this is the perfect opportunity. Americans often aren’t too into it, but I just love it and it goes so well with one of the foods we are passionate about-watermelon. I used Heritage Products Rosewater, which can be used both as a flavoring to food and as a perfume. I can find it at health food stores in the cosmetic section. My mom walked in while I was making it and was like, “That’s not frugal” because of the rosewater (I had just been telling her that I was trying to concentrate on frugal food). But I told her that I only use a tiny amount of rosewater per recipe and it was way cheaper than vanilla extract anyways!

This is the perfect ending to a meal, especially a creamy and spicy curry. It’s both refreshing and sweet. And it’s also so simple and easy to throw together. Just make sure you serve it right after you have made it, otherwise the dates get mushy from the watermelon juice and nuts get a weird texture.

Can you believe it is almost the weekend? We spent the morning at the Zoo, and my daughter is currently “trying” to take her nap (a real case of getting so tired, it’s hard to go to sleep). Since this is my last post of the week, let me give you just a few “housekeeping” notes before the weekend.

First, WOW! I just love all of the helpful comments on my last post, Single Gal on a Budget. Thank you! This is exactly the spirit of what I want the Pennywise Platter Thursday Carnival to look like. I so hope that you will join in on the first one next Thursday! I will give more details the beginning of next week, for those of you who have not participated in a carnival before.

Second, some of you have been confused with some of my ads. We are in the process of getting enough ads from Real Food Media where I get all of my wonderful “Real Food” type ads from. But until we can get enough ads to fill up all of the ad space, there are google ads that circulate with them. That’s why you will sometimes see some very non “real food” ads. Hopefully that clears up any confusion and hopefully soon we won’t have to use any google ads at all!

And now, back to this wonderfully refreshing salad. Enjoy the following recipe!

Persian Watermelon Rose Salad

If you don’t have a melon scoop (I don’t either, but I borrowed one from my mom), you can just cube the watermelon. It won’t be as pretty, but it will taste just as good! I have such a wide range on the rosewater for two reasons, first, how strong it is may vary from brand to brand, second, it’s a personal taste thing, how much you want. You can also sprinkle some organic rose petals in with the salad to give a visual to the rosewater flavor.

    4 cups of watermelon “balls” (Make with a melon scoop, looks like a small ice cream scoop)
    4-5 medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
    3-4 tablespoons pistachios
    1/8-1/4 teaspoon rosewater, or to taste

Place watermelon, dates and pistachios in a bowl, toss gently together. Sprinkle with rosewater, taste and adjust to taste. Serve immediately.


The following two tabs change content below.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

Latest posts by KimiHarris (see all)


  1. says

    My father is Tunisian so I grew up with the flavor of orange blossom water and rosewater. This fruit salad is very much mediterranean/middle-eastern inspired ;).
    I have a small watermelon sitting here (and some food grade rosewater) now I know what do to with it.
    Thanks ;).

  2. KimiHarris says


    I think you may just like this recipe! It’s pretty yummy. 🙂

    Definitely! And you are welcome! I hope you enjoy this easy recipe. 😉

  3. Katie says

    That is so strange, I picked up a bottle of rose water a few weeks back at an Indian
    market and was thinking, what am I going to do with this! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the always inspiring ideas!

  4. CoconutGal says

    Hmmm… Rosewater? Never heard of it! This salad looks and sounds so nice, I have to try it!! What a beautiful photo as well.

  5. Jessie says

    Wow! this looks amazing. Can’t wait to try later in summer.

    I was at a Mexicanr restaurant once that served watermelon with chili powder sprinkled on. Sounds scary – but it was totally yummy! I’ve served that at parties, but I always refuse to say what is on the watermelon until AFTER they try it. No one can believe it, but everyone loves it. 🙂

  6. Angela says

    There was a comment in the Single Gal on a Budget post that I’d love some further comments/help on. It was something akin to “vegetables not being worth spending a lot of money on b/c they are not that nutrient rich”. We’ve just been trying to find a way to incorporate more organic vegetables into our diet, but the expense of adding further is substantial. I thought that vegetables were the superior food group? My husband (he’s only 40!) just found out he has arthritis in his arm, and we’re trying to see what our natural options are. One thing he had come across was eating even more veggies.

  7. Jessie says

    Maybe this is a silly question – but if you use the organic rose petals – do you actually eat them? Also, where do you find them? Do you just go to a florist? Or a specialty food store? Many thanks!

  8. KimiHarris says


    That’s kind of a big question, but I will try to answer! Short answer is this, I think that vegetables have been traditionally eaten in quantities much larger than we eat them, and that even the so called “primal” people, or those who didn’t farm ate large amounts of vegetables.

    It is true that different societies in different demographics ate varying amounts of vegetables. And there are some, like the Eskimos who ate almost completely meat and protein based diet. There is also one author who promotes a certain protein/carb/fat ratio for healing. He claims that vegetables are “extras” and not necessary. So yes, there are a lot of viewpoints of everything, even vegetables.

    However, I find that the vast majority of us do better with more fresh vegetables in our diet. I know personally that I feel yucky with out them. Hope that helps!

  9. KimiHarris says


    Yes, you can actually eat the rose petals! I find them a little more “grassy” in taste, so I mostly added them in for looks (and they do look beautiful!). I actually just picked my roses from my yard. 🙂 But you can find them at some specialty/health food stores.

  10. Kenya says

    My family loves rose water lemonade!! It’s also very good sprinkled on sponge cake.

    KH: Great ideas! I will have to try the rose water lemonade! Thanks! 🙂

    • michael says

      I was about to mention the use of rosewater in Lemonade, would be a perfect blend & very refreshing, the thing though is the sweetness balance with the tart then how this will affect the delicate flavour of the rosewater, personally I would like Lemon rosewater aid 😀 I love roses the smell & Even the taste…

  11. Mary P. says

    A note about the rose petals, make sure that those that you choose have not been sprayed or treated with pesticides – that would probably leave out those from florists shops. A rose that has a fragrance will have more flavor than those that don’t.

    Thank you for this cool recipe!

  12. tina says

    I agree with cheeseslave that veggies aren’t nutritionally dense and they’re expensive. I would want my child to eat his liver over broccoli any day. I do buy veggies as my budget will allow and I also freeze veggies when they are on sale. But it’s much more important for me to have meat, butter, eggs and cream.

  13. says

    Kimi, that salad looks incredible! I can’t wait for some seasonal watermelon up here, though I’m not sure where to find the rosewater, unless I order it online. Hmm…

    Yesterday we picked up a big bag of local cherries while in WA for a wedding, and I can’t wait to try to use them in your coconut milk ice cream. Should be yummy!

    And on the topic of vegetables and their value in our diets… I would have to disagree that vegetables are too expensive and not worth focusing on. For us, it’s actually all the good quality animal products (the meat, butter, eggs, etc.) that kill our budget. I buy them because I believe in the dense nutrition that they offer, and that they are necessary for our health, but not because they’re particularly affordable!

    It’s great to focus on nutrient dense foods like animal products and we should do our best to make them a mainstay of our diet, but it’s still so important to get a full range of nutrients from a variety of sources, and that certainly includes fresh produce! As well, fruits and vegetables provide us with an abundance of fiber which is absolutely necessary (but lacking in animal foods), as well as a lot of water content to help keep us hydrated.

    To make high quality veggies affordable, simply focus on what’s seasonal. Don’t buy fresh tomatoes from the grocery store in the middle of winter- instead stock up on them in the summer when they’re cheap and abundant, and do some of your own preserving. Use lots of root veggies, onions and garlic, and hardy greens throughout the winter. Go with whatever is fresh and cheap during the spring/summer/fall (asparagus, radishes and greens/tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini/squash, potatoes, corn). Grow your own (I can’t tell you how much this helps!). Buy cases from produce or farmers markets (it’s cheaper) and preserve your own through freezing, canning and drying.

    I think that while we need to keep a strong focus on nutritionally dense foods and superior quality animal products, it should never be to the detriment of including fresh veggies and fruits in our diets. Balance seems to be the key to me, and I would agree with Kimi that when our diet gets out of balance (too much meat or dairy or grains, and not enough veggies) we really just don’t feel our best.

    There you have it… my 2 cents. For what it’s worth. 🙂

  14. KimiHarris says

    Thanks Tina and Stephanie for adding your thoughts!

    Tina, I know why you feel that way and there are some who feel that young children won’t digest vegetables very well anyways, besides the fact that chicken liver is more “nutrient dense”. I also feel that vegetables are generally not as filling for adults or children. But I don’t think that a low vegetable diet should be a “rule of thumb” for parents to follow. 🙂 I think especially for those of us who can’t have dairy, we HAVE to depend a little more on vegetables for nutrients. And like I said earlier, my family just feels better when we eat more vegetables. I wish we could afford to eat more of them! Many other cultures made great use of vegetables, and I want to follow their eating habits when possible.

    By the way everyone, Chef Rachel discussions the “theory” that hunter-gathers in the past didn’t eat many vegetables but ate “protein” based diets in her book, the Garden of Eating. She makes the case that they ate a lot of meat…..and a lot of vegetables. (there are always exceptions, like the Eskimos, but overall that’s what you find according to her).

    All to say, we don’t have to choose one or another, but I think we can do both! No need to give up vegetables, or liver and eggs and meat! I try to get both in our diets. 🙂

  15. Jessica says

    HI! On the topic of vegetables again…I agree w Kimi and Stephanie…that I do think vegetables are good for us and should be included in our diet, but yes in balance. Not all veggies, but a balance of vegetables, meat, eggs, and so on…balance is the key like Stephanie said. Stephanie worded it very well. We need to keep a healthy balance in our nutrition.

  16. Jessie says

    I just wanted to share something I learned about rosewater. Apparently there is rosewater extract & actual rosewater (which is much less concentrated). Sometimes rosewater extract is labeled as rosewater.

    I am not sure if this will make a difference to anyone, but wanted to mention. I found some rosewater at my regular grocery store (& good price too!). It is very, very strong. In reading a variety of recipes online, I saw that some of the quanitites used were just huge! Then I learned that there are less concentrated versions. My husband said when he was in Turkey, people would drink rosewater – but I can’t imagine drinking what I have. LOL!


  1. […] Persian Watermelon Salad: Scoops of watermelon are sprinkled with chopped dates and pistachios. With each bite you get sweet watermelon, chewy candy- like-dates and crunchy pistachios with a hint of the exotic which comes from rosewater. The rosewater is dominant, yet subtle. Teasing and suggestive, it brings out the flavor of the watermelon without overwhelming it. A perfect match. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *