What says summer more than a big hunk of watermelon? Sure you may have just as much dripping down your face as you do in your stomach but luckily for you, so does everyone else. But how often have you enjoyed this amazing snack and without thinking twice chucked the rind into the trash? What would you say if I told you that you were throwing out one of the best parts of the fruit? What if I told you that with just a few additional ingredients, you could turn your trash into treasure…
Maybe you’ve had pickled watermelon rind before but I would guess you haven’t. I’ve had only had it once and despite remembering the great taste and unexpected flavors I had never tried to make it myself. In fact I had sort of forgot about it. But this past weekend, when we purchased a monster watermelon at the local farm, it all came back to me. I wish I had a better recipe to share with you but I decided to just wing it.
I’ve been messing around with quick pickling over the past few months and had found success with rice vinegar as the base for the flavoring. Most pickling recipes involve creating a more dilute solution because the process is allowed to occur over a longer period of time. I have found that making a stronger concoction allows for the type of quick pickling perfect to enhance the flavors while keeping some great texture.
I made my pickling liquid with about 3 cups of rice vinegar (unseasoned), 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup salt, and a handful or peppercorns and whole cloves. Again, this recipe is all from my memory and based in approximations but the pickling liquid should simply taste good, as ridiculous as that sounds. If the liquid is too salty, the “pickles” will be too salty and just the same for the sweetness level. Trust your instincts if you give this recipe a shot but if you like details, you could certainly do a little online research before you go forward.
We let the rinds (I kept the skin on) sit in the pickling broth throughout the day and had them with our seafood feast. They were just as I remembered. Deliciously sweet and sour, crunchy and juicy. They were a great accompaniment to our meal but could easily work with a multitude of dishes. So next time your eating your watermelon, keep that rind and pickle it!