A week or so ago I bought myself a HUGE watermelon from WFM and thought to myself, “how can I use the rind to this melon”.
Watermelons are in the same family as cucumbers and zucchini, so I tried to think of cooking techniques for those.
Dehydrating first came to mind then of course breading/frying followed, because anything fried can be tasty.
Finally pickles came to mind!
I’ve never pickled or fermented anything and the idea not only fascinated me but also was terrifying.
I decided to peruse the net for basic pickling recipes to guide me in the right direction.
During my search I stumbled across a recipe for pickled watermelon rind! Oh, lucky days!
The recipe was adapted by Kitchen Riffs from a David Chang recipe.
As mentioned before I do not like using refined white sugar but it was important for me to follow the recipe somewhat closely for the first attempt. So, I reduced the sugar quantity from the original.
I pickled the rinds Monday night after waiting the recommended four days, I popped off the lids and gave them a try.
Ok, I do admit that eating pickled rind from a watermelon may not sound scrumptious, and well, I cannot say it was my favorite. These freshly packed sour warheads have an intense “POW, IN YOUR FACE” flavor.
Kitchen Riff recommended using ACV instead of Chang’s rice wine vinegar, so I went along with the ACV. The ACV has a sweet element and enhances the intense flavors to an overwhelming degree.
The thing about watermelon rind is that it doesn’t have much flavor and are bitter—absorbing whatever sauce used. Less sugar and the strong, sweet flavor of ACV took over the rinds, resulting in unbalance between sweet and sour/tangy, with sour/tangy dominating the profile.
Cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger were also added to my brind which adds a layer of heat to the pickles.
There is a real sweet, tangy, sour explosion of flavors that are not for the average soul.
There was also that expected crunch from the hard rind which you’ll find from a well pickled vegetable. The crunch adds another degree of complexity to this already stimulating flavors.
This would be great with some ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day or garnish for a fun, fruity cocktail.
I’ve generated two jars and am seeking creative ways to eat these tangy morsels because summer is on it’s way out and seldom drink, but once in a while I do enjoy a classic gimlet with gin. I’ll post updates about tasty finds for pickled watermelon rind.
I ended up using some extra dressing to pickle a golden beet that wasn’t looking too good. I honestly loved the pickled beet.
The ACV wasn’t as overwhelming and still had a strong beet flavor and a slight crunch to them.
These would be great with hummus and roasted corn or in a nice green salad with some toasted walnuts. YUM!
Have you tried pickling? Do you have a favorite recipe or tricks? Let me know!