Posted by: Jason Wood | April 15, 2010

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

I was watching Pitchin’ In and Chef Lynn Crawford made a pannacotta with tomatoes and it got me thinking to what I could put with a pannacotta. I found this awesome recipe at The Bitten Word for pickled watermelon rinds and thought to myself, “that might work” – you can picture the light bulb over my head if you like.

This actually takes a few days to make, but it is TOTALLY worth it. I brought this to a BBQ over Easter weekend ( in Ottawa – imagine that! Those of who who live here know what I mean) and my friend Connie said it tastes just like Christmas, and it does! And your house will smell AMAZING while you are working on this.

Here is what you need to get started

All my local store had was mini-watermelons so I actually used two, but a good-sized medium one will be enough.

Start by peeling off the green outer layer of the melon, good stuff for your compost in the back yard.

Cut the rind off – easiest way to do this is to cut the watermelon in half, put it on the counter and slice the top off (see below) and then go around the edges

easy! Stick the watermelon in the fridge in a large tupperware container.

Use a spoon to scrape the pink off the rinds

then cut the rinds into strips

Put the rind into a large pot and cover with about 3 liters of water and add 3/4 cup of salt. Stick it in the fridge overnight. See, not so hard so far, right?

Next day drain the rinds, rinse  and put them back in the pot and cover them with water then boil them for about 15-minutes or until fork tender. A word of caution to not over boil the rinds at this point or it will turn into watermelon rubber. Drain again.

While the rinds are boiling in another pot combine 5 cups of sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon of whole cloves, 6 cinnamon sticks (broken into smaller pieces) 1 tablespoon of allspice. Does not look to appetizing at this point, but wait until you start it boiling!

Drain the fork-tender rinds ( don’t they look totally different now?)

Pour the hot sugar mix over the rinds and then add 1 whole lemon that has been sliced. Stick it in the fridge for another night. Next day, bring the whole thing to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-high and boil for one hour. This is where your house will just smell SOOOO good. If the windows are open be prepared to have neighbors drop by just to see what you are cooking (no  joke!)

From here, if you want to give this as gifts, or store it, you can pour it into 1 pint canning jars (the guys at The Bitten Word have an awesome pic of what it looks like). Or, pour it into a serving bowl and bring to your party, like I did!

Now, the next part was to pair this up with a pannacotta. Pannacotta is so easy to make, that I (EVERY TIME) forget to take pics of how to do it. I use the recipe on Bell’alimento’s site. Watermelon and pistachio buts are a great pairing, so just plate it up and try to make it look nice. Drizzle some of the syrup from the rinds over top. SO GOOD!




  1. I LOVE sweet pickled watermelon rind!!!!
    It is one of my very favourite things.
    And I bet I can find watermelon in the Bahamas!! I’ve never made it myself.

    • It was so easy, and so tasty. Will for sure be making it again over the summer. Maybe with my own watermelons that we will be planting!

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