There’s something about the heat (and humidity) of summertime in Atlanta that makes me want to do nothing more than channel my inner “southerness” (I am a 4th generation southerner, after all) and enjoy some of the deep South’s simple culinary pleasures. Southern gastronomy is replete with awesome recipes made from some of the most simple ingredients-some of which you would even probably think there would be no good use for-like watermelon rinds. Ready to take on a fun summer of tackling some awesome southern classics-the kosher way- I thought what better way to start this adventure than with these awesome spiced pickled watermelon rinds. Maybe the concept of ‘sustainability’, inculcated in me at Kennesaw State University, did register with me after all.
*Note: Takes 2 days preparation
Rinds of 1 large watermelon (approximately 4 pounds)
For the Brine:
2 qt of water and 1/2 cup salt
3 cups white vinegar
6 cups white sugar
3 cups water
5 cinnamon sticks
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 & 1/2 lemon, sliced
- Cut the watermelon rinds into strips (like those in pieces from a triangular slice of watermelon) and pare the skin using a peeler. Remove all of the remaining red portion of the watermelon using a knife (and peeler, as needed).
- Cut the rinds into 3/4″-1 1/4″ pieces and place in a large container or soup pot.
- Make the brine. Combine 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup of salt and pour over the rinds, to cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, drain and rinse off all the brine. Set rinds aside.
- In a large pot, combine the water (3 cups), vinegar, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, and lemon and bring to a steady boil. Boil, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Add the watermelon rinds to the sugar/vinegar mixture and liquid back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 45 minutes, or until the rind is somewhat clear and easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the heat and spoon the rinds into a glass jar (I recommend Mason jars- big fan) and cover with the spiced syrup-liquid. Refrigerate and enjoy. These are also really awesome when fresh out of the pot. Though you may think pickled watermelon rinds may not be good served warm, they are, and who would of thunk it?!