A firm 4-pound watermelon should yield enough rind for this recipe. The pickled rind, which can include green and white parts and a thin layer of pink, can be stored in a resealable container and refrigerated for 2 to 3 weeks.
Servings: 3 cups
- For the rind
- 2 1/2 pounds firm watermelon rind (tough outer peel removed), cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup salt
- For the pickling liquid
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 cups champagne vinegar
- 15 whole cloves
- 15 whole allspice
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
For the rind: Combine the watermelon rind, lime juice and salt in a large nonreactive saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to barely a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, maintaining the liquid just below the bubbling point. Cook, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the rind is fork-tender. Strain and let cool in a large resealable container.
For the pickling liquid: Combine the sugar, vinegar, cloves, allspice, cinnamon sticks and mustard seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium so that the liquid cooks just below a boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour over the cooled watermelon rind; let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
At this point, the rind can be served as a condiment or relish or used to make Watermelon Mostarda (see related recipe).
From Liam LaCivita, executive chef of the Liberty Tavern in Clarendon.
Tested by Doris Truong.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.