Watermelon, Two Ways

Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • rind from a 3 pound piece of watermelon
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar (I think they might actually be better with a less strong type of vinegar--next time I may try rice vinegar instead)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (the EF version uses 1 1/2 cups, but I didn't want mine that sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (I think you could use less)
  • 3 cloves diced garlic (this is not in the EF version, but garlic makes everything better)

Using whatever method makes the most sense to you (I used a paring knife, EF suggests a veggie peeler) remove the outer skin and green layer from the rind, as well as any remaining bits of pink watermelon flesh; cut the rind into strips about 2 inches by 1/2 inch (close is good).  In a medium saucepan, combine 5 cups water with 3 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil.  Add the rind and cook for about 5 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a heatproof bowl. (They're pretty good at this stage, actually, if you don't want to go to the trouble of doing the rest.)

In the same saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, remaining salt, and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Pour the hot liquid over the rinds, using a small plate to make them stay covered if necessary.  Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.

I suggest rolling a few in a slice of your favorite cheese and lunch meat and chowing down.