When it comes to watermelons, most people immediately think of the juicy, sweet flesh inside. BUT, did you know that you can also use the watermelon rind for quick pickles?
Quick pickled watermelon rinds are the result of immersing watermelon rind pieces in a brine solution made of vinegar, sugar, and spices.
This process preserves the rinds and infuses them with delightful tangy flavors. The pickling duration can vary depending on your taste preferences, but even a short pickling time will yield surprisingly delicious results.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Why Choose Watermelon Rinds?
Watermelon rinds might seem like an unconventional choice for pickling, but their slightly sweet and crisp texture makes them an ideal candidate.
Moreover, pickling the rinds reduces food waste, allowing you to make the most out of the entire watermelon.
The unique flavor of pickled watermelon rinds is surprisingly addictive, and you'll be surprised at how quickly they disappear from your plate.
A Basic Pickling Recipe
To make a basic pickling brine, you will need:
I chose apple cider vinegar because it adds a fruity note to the pickling liquid. If you don't have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute it with white vinegar or rice vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.
Water is used to dilute the acidity of the vinegar and create the pickling liquid. You can use filtered water or tap water.
The sugar balances the tanginess of the pickling liquid and adds a subtle sweetness. If you prefer a less sweet pickle, reduce the amount of sugar or use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Salt is an essential component in pickling as it enhances the flavors and acts as a natural preservative. Use kosher salt or sea salt for best results.
Red Pepper Flakes
These add a kick of heat and spiciness to the pickling liquid. Adjust the amount to your desired level of spiciness. If you prefer a milder flavor, omit the red pepper flakes or substitute them with other dried chili varieties.
These seeds contribute a warm and citrusy flavor to the pickling liquid. If you don't have coriander seeds, you can try using fennel seeds or mustard seeds for a different aromatic touch.
Pickling Process: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Boiling the Brine
In a saucepan, combine the pickling ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
Step 2: Adding the Watermelon Rinds
Carefully place the prepared watermelon rinds into the boiling brine. Reduce the heat and let them simmer for a few minutes until they become slightly tender.
Step 3: Cooling and Storing
Once the pickling process is complete, remove the saucepan from heat and let the rinds cool in the brine. Transfer the pickled rinds to a clean and airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
How to eat pickled watermelon rind
Here are some creative and delicious ways to use pickled watermelon:
Salads: Add pickled watermelon rinds to your favorite salads for a zesty and refreshing kick. They pair well with mixed greens, feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Sandwiches: Elevate your sandwiches by including pickled watermelon rinds as a flavorful condiment. They go particularly well with grilled chicken, turkey, or pulled pork sandwiches.
Charcuterie and Cheese Boards: Arrange pickled watermelon rinds on a charcuterie or cheese board for an eye-catching and palate-pleasing addition. They complement various cheeses and cured meats.
Tacos and Wraps: Use pickled watermelon rinds as a tangy and crunchy element in tacos or wraps. They work wonderfully with grilled vegetables or fish.
Sushi Rolls: Create unique sushi rolls by adding pickled watermelon rinds alongside traditional ingredients like avocado, cucumber, and seafood.
Garnish for Cocktails: Use pickled watermelon rinds as a creative and flavorful garnish for cocktails. They add a pop of color and a tangy twist to beverages like margaritas or mojitos.
Appetizers: Serve pickled watermelon rinds as an appetizer along with these crispy chicken wings.
Summer Rolls: Incorporate pickled watermelon rinds into fresh summer rolls, alongside veggies and herbs, for a burst of unique flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do the pickled watermelon rinds last?
The pickled watermelon rinds can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks when kept in a clean, airtight glass jar or container.
Can I use other types of vinegar in this recipe?
Yes, you can experiment with different types of vinegar, such as white vinegar, rice vinegar, or even ume plum vinegar, to vary the flavor profile of the pickled rinds.
Can I adjust the spiciness level of the pickling liquid?
Absolutely! The amount of red pepper flakes can be adjusted to suit your spice preference. You can add more for a spicier kick or reduce the amount for a milder flavor.
Is there a substitute for the coriander seeds in the pickling liquid?
Yes, if you don't have coriander seeds, you can try using fennel seeds or mustard seeds for a different aromatic touch in the pickling liquid.
Can I use honey or another sweetener instead of granulated sugar?
Yes, you can substitute granulated sugar with honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup if you prefer a different type of sweetness in your pickling liquid.
How long does it take for the watermelon rinds to pickle?
The pickled watermelon rinds will be ready to enjoy after just 24 hours of pickling in the refrigerator. This quick pickling method allows for a shorter pickling duration compared to traditional canning.
How can I use pickled watermelon rinds?
Pickled watermelon rinds are versatile and can be used in salads, as a flavorful condiment for sandwiches, or a unique garnish for cheese and charcuterie platters.
How do I prevent the pickled rinds from becoming too sweet?
If you prefer a less sweet pickle, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the pickling liquid or use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Can I pickle watermelon rinds from different watermelon varieties?
Yes, you can use various watermelon varieties for this recipe, such as traditional red-fleshed watermelons, seedless watermelons, or even yellow-fleshed watermelons for a change in taste and appearance.
Quick Pickled Watermelon Rind
- 4 cups of watermelon rinds peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes adjust to your spice preference
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- Start by preparing the watermelon rinds. Peel the green skin and pink flesh from the watermelon leaving only the white rinds. Cut the rinds into bite-sized pieces, ensuring they are of uniform size for even pickling.
- Start by preparing the watermelon rinds. Peel the green skin and pink flesh from the watermelon, leaving only the white rinds. Cut the rinds into bite-sized pieces, ensuring they are of uniform size for even pickling.
- In a saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, granulated sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and coriander seeds. Stir the mixture well to ensure the sugar and salt dissolve.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the pickling liquid to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for a few minutes to infuse the flavors of the red pepper flakes and coriander seeds into the liquid.
- Taste the pickling liquid and adjust the sweetness and spiciness to your liking. If you prefer a spicier pickling liquid, you can add more red pepper flakes.
- Add the prepared watermelon rinds to the simmering pickling liquid, making sure they are fully submerged. Let the rinds simmer in the liquid for about 5 minutes or until they become slightly tender.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the pickling liquid and watermelon rinds to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the pickled watermelon rinds along with the pickling liquid into a clean, airtight glass jar or container. Ensure the rinds are fully covered by the liquid.
- Seal the jar or container tightly and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to let the flavors meld together. The longer the pickling duration, the more pronounced the flavors will be.
- Once fully pickled, the watermelon rinds are ready to be enjoyed! They can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Pickled watermelon rinds are a simple and unique way to use up your watermelon rinds.
With their tangy and slightly sweet taste, they can elevate various dishes, from salads and sandwiches to appetizers and cocktails.
Whether you're looking to use up those rinds or looking for a fun way to add variety to your meals, these easy pickled watermelon rinds are a versatile and delicious option.