Summer in Seattle brings some awesome fruits, and watermelons from Eastern Washington are one of my favorites. Nine out of ten times we toss the rinds when we are done eating the juicy watermelon meat. This recipe makes those rinds into the sweetest little condiment! The pickled rinds are fantastic over anything smoked especially BBQ! SAAS teaches us to think outside the box and “make the most of what we got” and Pickled Watermelon Rinds does just that!
4 cups water
4 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 4-pound watermelon
In a medium sized pot boil the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, cardamom and star anise. Turn the heat off once the mixture comes to a boil.
Cut the watermelon into big fat rings about two inches wide. Lay each watermelon ring flat on the cutting board; then use a small paring knife to cut the whitish rind away from the green outer shell and the pink flesh. If you are left with a little flesh in the rind, all the better! Chop the whitish rind into 1-inch pieces, about the size of your thumb nail.
Bring the mixture back to a boil and plunge all of your watermelon rinds in. Then immediately turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Pour everything into a big jar or bowl and cover it, letting it sit overnight. The Pickled Watermelon Rinds should stay good for up to five days.
Recipe by Joel Gamoran ’03, a chef for Sur La Table in New York City, http://joelgamoran.com/
Illustration by Bailey Zahniser ’08, 6th Grade Facilitator at Seattle Academy, http://beezeebean.tumblr.com/