Consider how many watermelons your family enjoys each summer. How many watermelon rinds does that mean you’ve tossed in the trash the past two or three months alone? Dozens, maybe? In a world where 1/3 of our food is wasted, it’s time we start thinking economically about every part of our food. We might think the watermelon flesh is the only edible part of this favorite fruit and that the rind is garbage, but all we have to do is adjust our thinking a little! If we did, we would see that there is a surprisingly delicious snack just waiting to be made from your watermelon rinds: watermelon rind pickles. It might sound weird, but we guarantee you’ll love this surprising summer snack! Watch the video below to see how they’re made.
You’re probably wondering what pickled watermelon tastes like, but you’ve got the wrong idea. The watermelon rind doesn’t have the sweet taste or pithiness of watermelon flesh – if you took a bite into a watermelon rind pickle blindfolded, you’d have no idea it wasn’t a regular pickled cucumber!
The watermelon rind is crunchy when pickled and has a pretty neutral flavor, so it’s highly effected by the flavors of the vinegar and packaged pickling that you’ll be soaking it in.
Fans of watermelon pickles have compared the crunch and taste to that of a jicama.
Pickling watermelon rinds couldn’t be any easier, either. It only takes a few easy steps and ingredients to prepare for pickling, and then you just let the rinds sit for six hours and do their thing; it’s a very hands-off recipe with extremely delicious results! Once the pickles are done, you’re ready to pair them with a block of sharp cheddar for some ultimate summer snacking.
What do you think of this unique summer recipe? Will you conserve waste by making this snack this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
- Rind from 1 pound of watermelon
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup cider vinegar (white wine vinegar will also work in a pinch)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling spice
- Scoop out the flesh from the watermelon and reserve for eating. Peel the green skin off the watermelon rind with a sharp vegetable peeler.
- Cut white rind into spears that are about 1/2” wide and 2” long.
- Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil the watermelon rinds for about 4 minutes, until they just begin to turn translucent and become soft when stabbed with a fork. Drain and let cool for handling.
- In a medium saucepan (it can be the same one you used for the watermelon), combine the vinegar, sugar, water and pickling spices. Bring to a boil, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place the cooled rinds in their pickling jars, tightly packed. Carefully pour the pickling liquid into each jar, until the liquid nearly reaches the top. Screw the top on your jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Your pickles can be eaten after just a few hours.