So lest you think I've gone pickle-crazy (and I'm not saying I haven't), remember: I have something of a surplus of watermelon in the house. And as I abhor waste (unless I'm feeling lazy, which is almost always), I just had to do something with all that rind after removing the top inch or so of juicy watermelon flesh. Luckily, my new-old favorite pickle book has a recipe for just such a thing.
Mind you, I used only the deepest red parts of the watermelon for the infusions, and the pickled rind recipe calls for no red, no green. So that left me with rather a copious amount of the in-between bits -- the pinkish flesh that is not so sweet, yet still watery. What does one do with all that? Suffice to say I was well hydrated yesterday.
This recipe is a little more labor-intensive than the one before, as it involves salting, resting, boiling, steeping and cooling. And after all that, the product won't really be ready for a week! But at first pale, it seems promising. It is definitely sweet, and I am intrigued to see whether the sweetness will subside during its resting period. I still have yet another quarter of the melon left (that's almost 4 lbs, people!) -- and one quarter was sufficient to create this batch -- so there may be another round with a slight modification of the sugar-to-vinegar ratio next time around.
On the bright side, the pickles will coincidentally be ready on July 4, just in time to dole out to the various hosts of Independence Day fêtes that we'll see. Now, where's my red-white-and-blue grosgrain ribbon?
You know the drill. After the jump. (Oh, there's pictures!)
Super-sweet Clove-scented Watermelon Rind Pickles
4 c. white part of watermelon rind -- no red, no green -- cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 c. kosher salt
2 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar
10 whole cloves -- no more, no less (just kidding)
In a large container, combine the rind and salt and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Rinse rind well, drain, and put in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
In the same saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar and cloves and bring to a boil. Add the rind, brng back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp. Pour into jars, seal tightly and refrigerate.
Allow to stand in the fridge for 1 week before using. They will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 6 weeks.