Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Posted by Diana Renata
I've sort of been on this pickling kick lately. Eggs mostly, but we had a delicous watermelon salad the other day and I decided I wanted to play with making pickled watermelon rind. It always sort of seemed interesting, not to mention I like trying "different" foods, and it takes advantage of my scavenger tendencies.
There were a few problems finding the right pickle recipe. First, it had to include ingredients I actually have in the house, or at least something close. Second, I didn't want it loaded with sugar. Most of the pickled watermelon recipes I found were extremely sugary.
After a great deal of searching I found a do-able recipe. It does have a lot of sugar in it, so I decided to cut the sugar in half and see what happens. I'm thinking I want to try this recipe later with apples. Pickled apples might make a nice Christmas gift.
2 lbs. Prepared watermelon rind
1/2 cup salt
2 qts. water
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
5 pieces (2 in. each) stick cinnamon
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1 lb. sugar
Pare the watermelon rind, removing all green and pink portions and cut into bite-size pieces.
Prepare a brine of the salt and 2 quarts water; pour over rind. Cover and let stand overnight.
Drain the rind and cover with fresh water and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and let stand several hours, then drain.
In a sauce pan combine your pickling ingredients and bring to boiling, cooking about 5 minutes. Add the drained watermelon rind and cook gently until rind is clear and transparent.
Pack pickles into hot sterilized jars; cover with boiling syrup, leaving headspace. I sort of picked out most of the spices and cinnamon stick with a little extra syrup for a later batch. I allowed a few allspice berries and cloves into the jars, mostly because it looks pretty that way.
Remove air bubbles and seal.
Voila! Watermelon pickles!
This is a really good way to make the most out of your summer produce. No sense throwing away perfectly useable food, right? I'm sure you can use different spices and vinegars, depending on what flavor you're looking for. Balsamic vinegar might be tasty, or red wine vinegar which would add a lovely pink color. Beets would definitely add some nice color to the pickles, as they do with eggs. So many ideas, so little time...