Watermelon Carpaccio, Blistered Shishito, Mitsuba, Lime

watermelon carpaccio
Watermelon Carpaccio

Blistered Shishito Peppers, Mitsuba, Tiny Watermelon Balls
Radish Sprouts, Pistachio, Feta, Lime Vinaigrette, Korean Red Chili Powder, Lime Zest

The namesake of the Venetian Renaissance painter known for his use of brilliant reds and whites, “Carpaccio” was the inspiration for this summer treat. Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of Harry’s Bar invented the dish in 1950, the year of the great Carpaccio exhibition in Venice. It was inspired by the Contessa Amalia Nani Mocenigo, a frequent customer at Harry’s Bar whose doctor had placed her on a diet forbidding cooked meat. The original dish was simply paper-thin sliced raw beef topped with a mustard sauce. In the 63 years since its invention, the culinary term “carpaccio” has come to mean almost any dish composed of thinly-sliced raw food spread out on a platter.

In a challenge to make an elegant watermelon dish, I turn to carpaccio… plus mitsuba, a Japanese herb with a fresh, wild, sweet flavor similar to angelica which adds the herbaceous note. Then smoky grilled shishito balance the cool crisp watermelon. Radish sprouts add a pungent peppery characteristic. Just a little bit of feta adds richness and saltiness, while roasted pistachios add that nutty character. Gochugaru (Korean red chili powder) brings the heat and lime adds the bright citrusy notes. Elegant Watermelon? It’s possible.

Watermelon Carpaccio Recipe

watermelon carpaccio

 With very little prep, this dazzling summer salad comes together quickly.

watermelon mandoline

Trim watermelon to fit a mandolin. Slice very thin.

blistered shishito peppers

Toss shishito peppers with olive oil.
Grill over high heat using a grill basket, flipping occasionally until the peppers are blistered.
Season with salt.

watermelon carpaccio

Lime Vinaigrette

2 T. olive oil
1 T. lime juice
1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 t. sugar
pinch of salt

Whisk ingredients together, set aside.

watermelon carpaccio

Use a melon baller to make tiny watermelon balls.
Trim radish sprouts.
Rough chop roasted & salted pistachios.
Crumble feta.
De-stem mitsuba.

watermelon carpaccio

To compose:

Place watermelon carpaccio on a platter. Mound mitsuba in the middle. Arrange radish sprouts around the mitsuba. Use a microplane to grate lime zest over the entire plate. Scatter melon balls, feta, and pistachio. Drizzle lime vinaigrette. Sprinkle with Korean red chili powder (gochugaru).Place blistered shishito peppers over the mitsuba.

Summer Fest is Featuring Watermelon!

food network summer fest

Summer Fest is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite summertime fruits and vegetables. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 90,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair! And if this watermelon carpaccio got you longing for sweet juicy watermelon, you might enjoy taking a peek at other summery dishes from some fabulous bloggers below…

Dishing: Watermelon Agua Fresca
The Sensitive Epicure: Watermelon with Feta, Mint, Olive Oil and Sea Salt 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Popsicles with Mint, Basil and Lime
Red or Green: Spicy Watermelon Salad with Grilled Mahi Mahi
Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Taste With The Eyes: Watermelon Carpaccio, Blistered Shishito, Mitsuba, Lime
Dishin & Dishes: Summer Mixed Melon Nachos with Mascarpone Cream 
Domesticate Me: Sparkling Watermelon Punch & Bowl 
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Sweet and Salty Greek Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Watermelon Vodka Rickey
Devour: Savory Watermelon Recipes
FN Dish: Cool Watermelon Drinks
Made by Michelle: Watermelon Basil Lemonade

24 thoughts on “Watermelon Carpaccio, Blistered Shishito, Mitsuba, Lime”

  1. I love this. No surprise, because I usually love everything you do — but it’s just a wonderful combination of ingredients that I know must sing together.

  2. What a beautiful dish. Those tiny watermelon balls are the living end. There are flavors here that I do not know at all, mitsuba and Korean red chile powder for example. Some exploration is in store for me. Really, though this is fine dining in the home. Brava!

  3. Amazing concept and photographs, once again! I love watermelon, and haven’t bought one this summer, yet! Now I’m encouraged by your recipe. Thanks for the idea. I love, sweet, spicy, crunchy food.

  4. Who would have thought to use a mandolin on watermelon? Why you of course! This is amazing I can’t wait to make a version of this because I could never recreate exactly what you’ve done. Love the tiny watermelon baller,

  5. Very intriguing recipe! I love blistered peppers but never thought to pair them with watermelon. And, I have to admit, mitsuba is completely new to me. Gotta give this a try.

    1. Hi Nik – so nice to “meet” you. thank you for stopping by. The watermelon carpaccio is a technique I will definitely use again, and the mandoline is perfect for getting the slices thin and uniform…please let me know if you try it.

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