Make Ahead

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles

April 23, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This is a sustainable recipe that I have been making with cut-away, throw-a-way watermelon rinds. These are simple and easy to make and a beautiful addition of a condiment that will delight the eater! I give these as gifts as well. —Nancy Manlove

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Nancy Manlove is a home cook, photographer, and food stylist that recently turned professional!
WHAT: The way to preserve the watermelon scraps you aren't eating anyway -- and keep them all year long.
HOW: Cut away the white, fleshy part of the watermelon, simmer the cubes in spices, and keep them in the fridge for months.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love that Nancy takes what we would usually throw away and creates something exciting -- and something we can eat when the watermelon-sticky summer days are long over. We could see this pairing wonderfully with cheese, or as a condiment in a meaty sandwich. —The Editors

  • Makes 4 quarts
  • 12 cups watermelon rinds prepared as in step 1 below
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 8 thin slices of fresh ginger cut into strips about 2-inches long by 1-inch wide
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
In This Recipe
  1. Wash and cut away all green parts of the rinds, Cut away any red as well. Cut into cubes 1-inch by 1-inch pieces or with a cute flower mini cutter (that is what I use when I gift these).
  2. Place cut rind pieces in a large stock pot filled with enough water to cover rinds and cook over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until rinds are fork tender or for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. While the rinds cook, in a medium large sauce pan, add in all the other ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to pickling broth to slightly cool.
  4. Place the cooked rinds in a large container that comes with tight filling lid. Pour the pickling broth over to completely cover and allow to completely cool. Place in the refrigerator and use as wanted. This will keep well for 3-4 months.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amanda KCogswell
    Amanda KCogswell
  • Patti Frazier-Laundree
    Patti Frazier-Laundree
  • Jen Cearbaugh
    Jen Cearbaugh
  • Kiai Kim
    Kiai Kim
  • Nancy Manlove
    Nancy Manlove