Melon and avocado salad with spicy seed brittle

Feed your friends without the fuss with this sure-fire crowd pleaser. There’s no need to follow the recipe to the letter. In fact, ad lib at will. That is the beauty of versatile summer salads.


Ingredients (serves 4):

For the spicy seed brittle

½ cup sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
½ cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are a good mix, you could also add a small handful of cashew or pecan nuts)

For the dressing

8 bella or cherry tomatoes, halved
150ml olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard or tarragon mustard
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
6 strawberries (optional – replace with 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar)
Pinch of sugar
For the salad

1kg melon – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or a mix
2 large avocados, chopped
200g mixed baby or cherry tomatoes
200g feta
Basil and rocket leaves, to decorate



1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Then get cracking on your brittle. To make the seedy brittle, grease a baking tray lightly with oil. Place the sugar in a non-stick frying pan and place over a low heat until the sugar has started to caramelise.
2. Remove from the heat, add the paprika, salt and seeds and nuts if using and shake or stir to coat the seeds. Watch out for popping seeds as you stir.
3. As soon as the seeds are coated, pour the mixture into the greased baking tin. Set aside to cool and harden.


4. Place the cherry tomatoes for the salad dressing on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season well.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are bursting from their skins.
5. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then place in a blender with the olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, strawberries and sugar. Chill before using.


6. Chop the melon into chunks and mix with the avocado and cherry tomatoes.
7. Spread the dressing on each plate, top with the salad and sliced feta or drizzle over the salad once plated. Decorate with basil and rocket leaves.


With thanks to Jules Mercer for her beautiful recipes and styling.