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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickles



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Not much was wasted in the summer kitchens of my childhood. When sugar was available, even the rind of watermelon became fodder for the good cook's table. With a bit of effort and a handful of spices, it was transformed into sweet and spicy pickles that, once tasted, would not be forgotten. This week, in a fit of what Bob calls a green attack, I decided to use the rind for pickles rather than add it to compost heap. Processed pickles are fine, but because I prefer the crispness of refrigerated pickles, I decided to use a tried and true recipe from Bon Appetite magazine. I was pleased enough with the results that I thought you might like the recipe. The pickles are easy to make but you'll need to start them three days before you plan to use them. I usually serve them as a condiment, but they are also delicious wrapped in bacon and served as hors d'oeuvre. Here's the recipe.


Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickles
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1 4-pound piece watermelon, quartered
8 cups water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
8 whole cloves
8 whole black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:
1) Cut watermelon pulp from rind, leaving thin layer of pink on rind (reserve pulp for another use). Cut green outer skin from rind; discard. Cut enough rind into 1 x 1/2-inch pieces to measure 4 cups. Combine 8 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt in large pot; bring to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
2) Combine remaining 2 teaspoons salt, sugar, vinegar, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, pickling spice, allspice and ginger in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate atop rinds to keep rinds submerged in pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
3) Strain liquid from rinds into saucepan; bring to boil. Pour over rinds. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Repeat straining and boiling of liquid and pour over rinds 1 more time. Store in covered jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Refrigerate. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

Recipe adapted fromn Bon Appetite Magazine.

27 comments:

Kristin said...

I have always wanted to try these! I love the idea of being able to use the entire watermelon, wasting nothing. I'm hoping with all the rain we got yesterday from the hurricane remnants my watermelon plant will really take off.

Leann said...

Hey Mary

Do they taste like watermelon? I don't really care for watermelon, but would try the recipe if they have a different flavor.

Thanks!

mbkatc230 said...

Now this brings back memories! My grandmother always made watermelon rind pickles, and I haven't had them in years. But I've always loved them and they just remind me of summer at my grandmother's. Thanks for the recipe! Kathy

Cathy said...

I haven't had a watermelon pickle in year. I remember their spicy sweetness and think of my grandmother, one of those thrifty souls who wouldn't dream of wasting anything.

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

yum! I've always wanted to try pickled watermelon rind!

xinex said...

This looks so good and so pretty too...Christine

Lynda said...

I would never have thought yo use watermelon rind to make pickles - very clever and they look so tasty, too :) I love the sound of these pickles being wrapped in bacon, I bet parma ham would work well, too. Thanks for sharing the recipe !

A & W said...

Wow! I have never seen watermelon rind used for pickling! Very interesting and it sounds delicious as well.
- Whitney

girlichef said...

They look like jello!!! So cool, though...I've always wanted to pickle watermelon rinds, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I am just collecting watermelon rinds right now! I have a bag going in the fridge and will be starting tomorrow. Great recipe! This will be my first time pickling watermelon rinds so I am happy to read/see yours first.

Mary said...

Leann, the pickles don't taste like watermelon.

Jennifer said...

This DOES look like jello..is it wobbly (like my bites-hehehe)? I would never even think to use watermelon rind for anything more than compost. How long does it keep?

the ungourmet said...

I've only eaten these once. Yours look better. I'll have to try making these sometime!

Mary said...

Jennifer, up close and personal this looks like candied fruit. Pickles made with this recipe will keep under refrigeration for 3 weeks. If they are processed in a hot water bath they'll keep for a year.

Selba said...

This is so new to me, I don't know that you can make pickles from watermelon, interesting! :)

Debinhawaii said...

How fun--I have had them before but I have never made them. They look great.

Anonymous said...

Wow that's the first time I see something like this. This is my first time stumbled across your blog, I fell in love instantly! The photos are amazing!!! Which camera you used?

Mary said...

Anonymous, welcome. We use a Canon A590-IS. I hope you'll visit often.

newlyweds said...

I am so happy I stopped by today. Just yesterday my Father in law was telling me about watermelon rind jelly! I had never heard of it, or watermelon rind pickles. can't wait to try them!! Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Lynda, parma ham would be wonderful wrapped around cubes of the pickles.

noble pig said...

I have always wanted to try these! They sound fabulous!

Katy ~ said...

I haven't had a watermelon rind pickle since I was a kid. Boy, wrapping them in bacon sounds amazing.

Beverly said...

This post gave me a smile. My father loved watermelon rind pickle.

One of my aunt's made the best pickles. I need to get her recipe.

My Little Space said...

Watermelon rind pickles!!! Never heard of it before but I bet it tasted delicious as it looks! Is it something like preserved wintermelon?

J said...

My Mom made watermelon rind when I was a kid. It doesn't taste as all like watermelon, instead it is a spicy sweet taste. I put it out at dinner parties and they are ALWAYS the rave.

Katja R. said...

I bought a tiny jar of these at the store. I LOVE them and I am not a big watermelon eater. They don't quite taste like watermelon. Thet are just nice. You owe it to yourself to try them.

Katja R. said...

I bought a very small jar of watermelon rind pickles. They are former than jello, no wobble, but soft. They have a spicy sweet taste. I'm not a big watermelon eater, so I was surprised I liked them.

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