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.


  1. That looks lovely i would never have thought about using up the rind before, its lovely that it brings back happy memories for you. Enjoy it, dee x

  2. oh - sounds so good! I want to can, and WILL some day! Thanks for posting the recipe. Now if I could only have some of my Grandma's gooseberry pie!

  3. wow! this is a FAB blog and I want you to link up some of these posts on cooking or thrifting to the Penny Worthy Project! so awesome:) following you now

  4. Thanks for following, Laura! Will do the link-up. I love your blog- got some good recipes there!

  5. I have never heard of these before! I remember loving my Mom's pickled green beans, but they weren't a sweet treat...more of a pickle!

  6. I love pickled green beans! I haven't made any yet this year, but I still have at least a half dozen jars from last year. My son will eat the whole jar at once- he loves sour things.

  7. OK, so I'm making this again, and here are a couple of things that I have done differently- 1) cut the rind into larger pieces (at least 2") because it shrinks significantly after salting. You still want to be able to pick them up with your fingers or fork. 2) I put all the spices, except cinnamon, into a tea ball and removed it before canning. It is a real pain to scrape off whole spices from every piece before you eat them!