Melon salad with pickled pineapple & jalapeño

Melon salad with pickled pineapple & jalapeño

Smith & Daughters
Bonnie Savage

This dish is another misunderstood menu item. We should start an anonymous group for misunderstood dishes. Especially because when customers love a misunderstood dish, they become nearly obsessed with it. But those with a specialised palate like this are few and far between. Often, you’ll find me and Shannon eating this with our fingers in the kitchen at the end of service singing ‘your loss’ and ‘more for me’.

While to the naked eye this might be considered a fruit salad, it’s far from it. This dish is meant to be a bright, spicy and fresh addition to your meal and when prepared properly – with melon, pickled pineapple and jalapeño to make the perfect bite – it is simply stunning.


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 pineapple, peeled, core removed and fl…esh sliced lengthways into long thin strips
2 jalapenos, very thinly sliced
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled, seeds removed and flesh thinly sliced
1/4 watermelon, cut into small triangles
1/2 rockmelon, cut into cubes
sea salt flakes
handful mint leaves

Pickle brine

Quantity Ingredient
250ml apple cider vinegar
230g caster sugar
1 orange, Zested and juiced
1 lime, Zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
small handful coriander stems, (only if you have them on hand)
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns


  1. To make the pickle brine, place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  2. Place the pineapple and jalapeño in a large bowl and pour over the pickle brine, bits and all.
  3. Pickle the pineapple and jalapeño for at least 3 hours before using, but the longer this sits the better it gets, so if you can, try to give it at least 24 hours.
  4. To build the salad, lay the honeydew slices on a large serving plate and loosely arrange the watermelon and rockmelon over the top – don’t make it look too perfect if you can help it. Lay the pickled pineapple and jalapeño over and in between the melon pieces.
  5. Use a spoon to drizzle the pickle brine over the salad – this will act as your dressing. Scatter with the smallest amount of salt flakes, a crack of black pepper and a handful of picked mint leaves.
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