It’s sad when you buy a disappointing watermelon. Every now and then, I cut one open and discover a mealy, tasteless inside, nearly devoid of all juice. However, instead of tossing the entire watermelon, I tried another rind experiment. When life gives you lemons, make relish.
Spicy Watermelon Rind Relish
1 ½ c finely diced red pepper (about 1 large)
1 ½ c finely diced watermelon rind
½ c finely diced onion (about 1 medium)
1 c apple cider vinegar
½ c sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp mustard seed
¼ tsp celery seed
1 tsp fresh dill
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chili flakes
1/8 tsp jalapeno powder (optional)
First, I sliced off a few pieces of sad watermelon, cut out the inside and peeled off the outer green skin with a potato peeler.
I used short pulses in the cuisinart to chop the rinds into small bits. Finely dice the onion, and add to a large bowl with the diced rinds.
Wash and slice the pepper, then chop it up in the cuisinart. Go slowly to make sure the peppers end up in diced chunks, not liquefied. Add to the bowl with rinds and onions.
Add the salt, and stir together. Cover and let it sit for about 2 hours to give the salt time to draw out moisture. Pour off all the water, and then squeeze as much as possible. It’s amazing how much water fits inside those little bits of vegetables. I soaked 3 hand towels.
In a pot, add the vinegar, sugar and all spices.
Bring it to a boil, and then add the veggies. Once it returns to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let it completely cool before putting it into a jar. It should last about a month in the fridge.
I’m pretty excited how well this turned out. I love spicy, and this has a nice medium kick. For a totally mild version, leave out the jalapeno powder. But I plan to up it to ¼ tsp next time.
Nobody can even tell it’s made with watermelon rinds, because they don’t have much flavor on their own. They’re like tofu, soaking up whichever flavors are added.
It also makes quite a bit, as you can see. This is way more than we can eat in a month, so I’ve started to give away batches. (I really need to learn how to can!)
Recipe adapted from this cool site.