August 30, 2018

Pickled Watermelon Rind—a Delicious, Southern Summertime Snack. {Recipe}

You may be thinking that summer is done for, and, yes—almost.

Labor Day weekend will be the last hurrah for warm weather, fun, and food.

An old-fashioned treat that is both pretty and a conversation piece is pickled watermelon rind. My kids love the weirdness of using the rind—and are very happy with mom, indeed. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s probably because you’re not from the south.

Cutting up the green watermelon rind into cubes and turning it into a delicious snack is a sly pretense at economy while indulging ourselves.

It’s cool to use the whole watermelon. Thanks to the local farmer, I tasted a black-seeded one this summer for the first time in 20 years. I can’t say it was any better, but the memories were succulent.

The original recipe I used was from The Joy of Cooking. Here is my own amalgam of various recipes:

  1. Cut the rind into one-inch squares.
  2. Soak in salt water overnight (six cups water, one cup salt).
  3. The next day, drain and rinse the rind.
  4. Boil two cups of sugar with two cups of vinegar (apple cider or other).
  5. Add the rind and any spices you favor. I use none.
  6. After the mixture returns to boil, lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  7. Let it cool, then put it in the fridge in whatever container suits you.

You’ll be the fun person of the day. You’ll do it again next year—guaranteed.

With autumn coming on, I might be persuaded to give up some southern comfort food recipes, like corn pone pie, cherry chicken, and spoon bread.

author: Heidi Evans McArdle

Image: RawPixel/Unsplash

Editor: Kelsey Michal

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Alex Sosnkowski Aug 18, 2019 3:53pm

Do you refrigerate with the vinegar mixture or drain and refrigerate?
Thank you!

Katie Gargiulo Aug 18, 2019 12:11pm

My grandmother made this when I was a child, but there was no written recipe. Now I have one; thank you so much!!

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Heidi Evans McArdle

Heidi Evans McArdle lives in the fertile valley of the Hudson River. She does market research, teaches literacy, and remembers the 1970s. “Let us gather in a flourishing way,” by Juan Filipe Herrera is her favorite line of poetry. She curates a Facebook page for articles that bypass the usual assumptions, and she also has a copy editing consulting site. You can find her on Instagram.