The inner rind of watermelon isn’t ideal for consuming raw but with just a little bit of cooking you can transform this devalued food into crisp and flavorful pickles that are wonderful additions to sandwiches, salads, and cheese platters.
This recipe comes together easily and can be made with items that you likely already have in your pantry. Watermelon rind has a neutral flavor and takes on the taste of whatever you use to season it, making it an ideal pickling candidate. The recipe below can be used as a template and you should feel free to gussy it up further with additions like Szechwan chile peppers, lemons, garlic or ginger.
Watermelon Rind Quick Pickles
Yield: approximately 1 quart sized Mason jar
- 2 pounds watermelon rind
- 1 c water
- 1 c white or rice vinegar
- ¾ c granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, optional
- ¼ tsp red chile flakes, optional
- Remove the green outer rind from the watermelon using a paring knife. Cut the white interior into cubes that are approximately 1” each. You will have about 1 ¼ pounds of the white rind left.
- Add water, vinegar, sugar, salt, lemon, peppercorns and chile flakes to a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce to a simmer and carefully add the watermelon. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and remove from the heat. The rind should be translucent.
- Transfer to a non-reactive, sterilized container (Mason jars work well) and let cool.
- Store in the refrigerator and consume within 3 weeks.
Marie graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Dietetics and is a professionally trained chef. She lives in the Bay Area and works as an educator, private chef and culinary consultant. Learn more about Marie and find more of her delicious recipes at Hedonist in Moderation.
Marie is an educator at 18 Reasons, a Chef Partner of the Stop Food Waste campaign. They are a nonprofit cooking school on a mission to empower our community with the confidence and creativity needed to buy, cook, and eat good food every day.