Monday, July 25, 2011
Make it from scratch Monday: Pickled Watermelon Rind
One of my tastiest childhood memories is of my Grandma's pickled watermelon rind. I remember eating it like candy. It was so tasty- sweet, syrupy and a little spicy, something that I have not had since she passed away. Surprisingly, with all my recent adventures in canning and preserving I have never tried making them until now. It's the perfect way to use up a part of the melon that you would ordinarily discard!
I couldn't find her recipe in my files, so I found this tutorial online which is just about right. It gets the flavor I'm after and as a bonus, it doesn't even need to be canned, although if I had a large batch I'm sure it could be done.
It requires more time than anything else. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand if you do much cooking.
I bought a 6 lb watermelon, and used the inside for watermelon and feta salad. I then cut the outer peel off the rind and followed the instructions given in the video.
First you cut the rind into cubes and mix it with 1 cup kosher or pickling salt. Let stand overnight.
Drain the water and rinse the cubes. Bring 8 cups cold water to a boil and add the cubes. Boil for 10 minutes and drain.
Make the syrup: combine 1/2 c water, 2 c white vinegar, 3 c sugar, a few cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp of whole cloves, 1/2 tsp whole allspice and 1/2 tsp of whole mustard seed (I substituted cardamom seed). Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let stand for 1 hour.
Add the watermelon rind cubes and simmer in the syrup for 2 hours. Pour into a clean glass jar and you're done! If you had a lot of jars, I'm sure you could can this for about 10 minutes, but I only got one jar out of it.