Pickling has long been a means of preserving fresh ingredients, but it's become especially popular among chefs these days as a way to add punchy flavor accents to dishes. Depending on how you season your brine or pickling juices, even watermelon rinds otherwise destined for the food waste bin can become the star ingredient. Try these Pickled Watermelon Rinds with Jackfruit, Camembert and Macadamia Nuts and see what you think!
Step One: Don't throw them away!
Rather than wasting your watermelon rinds, transform them into something delicious! It's easy. Just quarter your watermelon and separate the white rind from the red interior and remove the green skin using a vegetable peeler. Reserve the red portion and set aside. Once you've done so, slice the rinds to size and your rinds will be ready for pickling.
Step Two: Flavor your Watermelon Rinds
Now for the fun part. To pickle the rinds, I like to use Japanese rice wine vinegar, ginger, whole coriander seeds and fresh tarragon with sugar and a just touch of salt. Bring these ingredients to a gentle simmer and simply soak the rinds to infuse them with tangy flavor. Here's the recipe:
- 1 whole watermelon
- 240 g Japanese rice wine vinegar
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 2 pinches of salt
- whole coriander seed
- fresh ginger, to taste
- fresh tarragon, to taste
Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, ginger, tarragon and coriander seeds to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute, then add the cut watermelon rind and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
To store: Pour the watermelon rind and pickling juice into a glass jar with tight fitting lid and refrigerate overnight.
Step Three: Pair your Pickled Watermelon Rinds
Now that you've finished pickling your rinds, it's time to pair them! These pickled watermelon rinds add a refreshing bite to any dish and can even be enjoyed on their own as a flavorful snack. For starters, try this tasty recipe below for Pickled Watermelon Rinds with Jackfruit, Camembert and Macadamia Nuts.
Pickled Watermelon Rinds with Jackfruit, Camembert and Macadamia Nuts
- pickled Watermelon rinds
- roasted red pepper sauce
- watermelon (red portion), cubed
- macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
- fresh tarragon, minced
roasted red pepper sauce
- roasted red bell pepper purée
- red wine vinegar
- extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve and set aside.
Spoon a thin layer of the Roasted Red Pepper sauce on the surface of a salad platter.
Cut the red portion of the watermelon into cubes and arrange in a layer over the sauce. Next, dice the Camembert into small pieces and arrange over the watermelon cubes.
Next, cut the jackfruit into small cubes and deep-fry them. Arrange the fried jackfruit over the salad and the sprinkle the toasted macadamia nuts on top.
Garnish with the Pickled Watermelon Rinds and minced tarragon and serve.