Well it may have been Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada yesterday but it smelled like Christmas at chez green grrl.
That's because I was busy whipping up a batch of watermelon rind pickle. I had thought my canning was finished for 2009 but when I cut into the local, organic watermelon I got at the farmers market and saw the thick white rind, I just couldn't let that rind go to waste.
I know what you are thinking...um, green grrl, it's the RED part you want to be eating!
And you are right. But let me tell ya, there is some deliciousness in that rind. And you KNOW I love turning something that would go into the compost into a food item.
Plus, 'pickle' is a bit of a misnomer. I'd be more tempted to call it candied watermelon rind because it ends up as sweet as, and with the texture of, candied ginger. In fact, you could probably make some local candied *ginger* using watermelon rind and substituting ginger for the cinnamon and cloves.
Anyway, doesn't it just look delicious?!?!
Here's the recipe (yes, there is a rather shocking amount of sugar):
1/4 cup sea salt
1 8-10lb watermelon, rinsed and quartered
5 cups sugar
4 cups white vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp whole cloves
1. Cut off red watermelon flesh from white-green watermelon rind and save for another use. Trim off and discard thin green skin, leaving white and pale green part of rind intact, then cut into 1inch pieces (about 7 cups). Add pieces of rind to a large bowl, cover with water and add salt, cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. The following day, boil sugar and vinegar together in a medium non-reactive pot over high heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, 4-5 mins. Add cinnamon and cloves, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until reduced by one-third, 25-30 mins. Meanwhile, drain rind, then put i8nto a large pot, cover with water, and boil until translucent, about 15 mins.
3. Drain rinds and add to pot with vinegar syrup. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until syrup has reduced again by one-third, about 2 hours. Discard cinnamon and cloves.
4. Fill 5-6 hot sterilized pint canning jars with hot pickle and syrup to ¼ inch from the top. Screw on hot sterilized lids and process a water bath for 20 mins. Remove jars from pot and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate after opening.