I'm sure you've heard the phrases:
"Never let anything go to waste"
~ and ~
"Reduce - Reuse - Recycle"
Keeping these concepts in mind, let's make some tasty Watermelon Rind Pickles.
Don't let that perfectly usable watermelon rind go to waste. Recycle it into fancy old-fashioned pickles. Some people might not know that the rind of a watermelon doesn't belong in the compost bin...it belongs in your belly!
But first you need to separate the tender rind from the hard outer green skin and the pink edible inner flesh.
The rind is the white portion in the middle.
Cut the rind into 1 inch chunks. Soak the chunks overnight in a brine made by mixing the salt and water together.The next day, drain the watermelon rind chunks, put them into a large pot, and cover with fresh water.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and continue simmering until the rind is tender.
While rind is simmering, make the syrup in a saucepan large enough to hold the chunks. Simmer syrup mixture for 5 minutes, then add the rinds to the syrup and cook until the rinds become translucent.
Then pack the rind mixture into hot, sterilized pint jars and fill with syrup, hopefully pausing long enough to enjoy the heady aromas of spiced syrup & watermelon mingling together.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, unless you want to seal them for longer storage, and in that case you can find detailed instructions here: Watermelon Rind Pickles.
There's something so retro about Watermelon Rind Pickles, yet they are very much back in vogue. The sweet & spicy quality of the rinds make them a wonderful pairing with savory cured meats, and they're a lovely addition to any relish platter, looking a little like shimmering jewels.
I love knowing I have a few jars of these in the pantry for when company drops by. People are always taken by surprise that something as simple as a watermelon rind can be transformed into such a deliciously complex little morsel.