Don’t leave behind that watermelon rind!
Watermelons are a low water footprint fruit, using around 50 gallons of water to grow per pound. But a lot of that weight is in the watermelon rind. So, here’s a drought friendly, delicious recipe that will use the rind and extend your summer by months!
Pickled Watermelon Rind
Yield: 10 cups
1 8-pound watermelon
1½ cups distilled white vinegar
4½ cups water
¾ cup granulated sugar
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds (1/2 cup)
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
½ Serrano pepper
3 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods, crushed
½ vanilla bean, sliced open and seeds scraped with back of a knife
1 tablespoon kosher salt
10 whole black peppercorns
Cut watermelon in half and scoop out watermelon (yum!) leaving approximately ¼ to ½-inch of flesh on the rind.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the green outer layer of the watermelon.
Cut watermelon rind into 1-inch pieces. You should have approximately 10 cups.
Place all ingredients (except diced watermelon rind) in a large pot and heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has melted.
Add watermelon rind, stir and remove from heat.
Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Once cooled to room temperature, transfer to a bowl and place a plate or an inverted saucepan lid over watermelon to submerge the pieces in the liquid.
For maximum flavor, refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.