I love this time of year for so many reasons, but the unmissable abundance of watermelon in my grocers and the supermarkets are a joy to behold.
Once you have slurped your way through the delicious pink flesh, you are left with the white rind which most of us tend to throw away. Please please don’t. Make these pickles – ready in about a week and they keep for a good 2-3 months in the fridge.
Watermelon pickles are generally made with lots of sugar. This recipe uses a stevia sweetener instead. If you prefer sugar, just substitute 200g caster sugar for the Stevia.
A small watermelon to yield around 400-500g of rind.
1.5 litres of water
50g salt (try to find a salt with no anti-caking agent)
100g Stevia/Erythritol sweetener ( I use Whole Earth Stevia Leaf sweet granules)
100ml Cider Vinegar
1 Star Anise
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- First prep the watermelon, eat all the inside pink juicy fleshy bits – I love making it into a summer salad with feta and rocket leaves.
- Peel the very green outside skin off the melon with a veg peeler and discard.
- Slice the melon into 2cm x 5cm pieces (this is only a guide! Cut it how you like!) Place in a bowl.
- Make the brine by mixing the salt and water together and pouring over the prepared rinds to cover completely.
- Cover and place into the fridge over night.
- Rinse the rinds and add to a medium sized saucepan. Cover the rinds with about a litre of water and a pinch of salt.
- Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the rind softens. This should take around 5-7 minutes.
- Strain into a bowl. In the same saucepan (drained of course), mix up your pickling liquor. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot liquor over the watermelon rinds, place a plate or bowl over the rind to keep them submerged in the liquor. I have a small heavy sieve that I use for this purpose, but whatever works for you!
- Cover and leave in the fridge over night once again.
- The next day, strain the precious pickling liquor from the rinds into a saucepan, reserving the rinds. Place the rinds into sterilised pickling jars,
- Bring the liquor to the boil and pour back over the rinds in the jars. Close the lids straightaway. Allow to cool and then place in the fridge.
Try your pickles after a week or 10 days. They should keep well for at least 2-3 months.
I love them with ham and cheese and my seeded crackers.