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
- 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
- Cut the watermelon rind into small chunks, about 1 to 2 inches in size. Make sure you remove the green skin.
- Stir the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the watermelon rind and stir.
- Turn off the stove, but leave the saucepan on the hotplate. Let the rind sit until it reaches room temperature.
- Place rind and as much brine as you can fit in a jar(s) and put them in the fridge.
- 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.
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.