Friday Feast: Pickled Watermelon Rind

It’s almost summer here in Australia, which means it’s time to eat watermelon! I like to use my handy dandy melon baller so I can eat it with a fork. I know, it’s kinda un-Australian to not eat it in great big slices and get it all over your face… but I don’t really like getting sticky. If someone builds me a swimming pool to jump into after eating it, maybe I’ll change my method.

Anyway, I was eating watermelon the other day and after I’d removed all the lovely pink flesh of the melon, I was left with the rind, and I remembered reading about a Southern (as in the South, in the USA) snack – pickled watermelon rind. I don’t mind regular pickles, but I’m not as in love with them as my Polish-American partner, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat the pickled rind of quarter of a watermelon… but I figured I might as well give it a try at least once. Everyone raved about them, so why not?

Well, I gotta tell you, pickled watermelon rind is yummy! It’s crunchy and cool and refreshing – a perfect snack for hot weather, and it’s not super sweet. Most cold foods are sweet. This one is vinegary,  but a little sweet from the sugar. It’s nice for a change. And I really like the crunch!

I chose the absolutely easiest watermelon pickle recipe I could find. Others call for certain herbs, or soaking the rind overnight – stuff like that. Since I wasn’t even sure I would like them, I was going for minimum effort. I think this actually was a great idea. The simplicity of the flavours is part of what I really like about these pickles. Plus they’re quick and easy, and they use up something I’d normally discard. I just changed the vinegar to apple cider vinegar cos that’s what I had in the cupboard.

So now that I’ve raved… here’s the recipe.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

pickled watermelon rind

Ingredients

  • Watermelon rind (from a quarter of a big melon)
  • 1 very scant cup of water
  • 1 very scant up of apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup caster sugar

Method:

  1. Cut the watermelon rind into small chunks, about 1 to 2 inches in size. Make sure you remove the green skin.
  2. Stir the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the watermelon rind and stir.
  4. Turn off the stove, but leave the saucepan on the hotplate. Let the rind sit until it reaches room temperature.
  5. Place rind and as much brine as you can fit in a jar(s) and put them in the fridge.
  6. Eat them right away or save them for a bit in the fridge. Remember, these haven’t been properly sterilised and sealed, so they’re not shelf-safe. You should eat them within a few weeks at most and keep them in the fridge.

pickled watermelon rind in a small jar

Note: swish your mouth with water after eating, because it’s not good for your teeth to let acidic foods like vinegar sit on the enamel.

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