A pretty, fragrant salad that makes a perfectly light and refreshing dessert in hot weather. 






Skill level

Average: 3 (25 votes)


  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • 50 ml arak
  • 1 strip lemon zest
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 200 g labneh
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar mixture
  • ¼ large seedless watermelon, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 40 g pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ bunch mint, leaves picked

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 30 minutes

  1. Place the sugar, rosewater, arak, lemon zest, lemon juice and 150 ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before using. 
  2. Place the labneh, cinnamon and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk until well combined. 
  3. Place the watermelon, pine nuts and half the mint leaves in a bowl. Stir in 100 ml of the cold rosewater syrup and place into a serving bowl. Spoon over a couple of dollops of the cinnamon labneh and garnish with the remaining mint leaves. 


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.