I picked up a nice plump 18 pound watermelon at the market this morning at my favorite local market. Have I mentioned that I love summer??!!  Here we are fast approaching the July 4th weekend and you HAVE to have watermelon.  Half of the melon went into a pureed watermelon juice water that is going to be super refreshing but that also left about 2 pounds of rind to make a quick batch of watermelon rind pickles.  Yep, pickles! These are a popular item in the South and are amazing.  Not only do they taste great but will certainly be an interesting topic at your next gathering.

These are spicy and delicious.  While they probably won't be ready for the Holiday they will make a great side for future summer BBQ's or a quick app with some cheese and sliced fruit.

To prepare the rind you will want to trim off the outer green skin and all but a small sliver of the red flesh leaving about 1 inch thick chunks of the white rind.  The pieces can be between 1-2 inches but the smaller pieces make them easier to put into the jars.

You will need:

1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (I like unfiltered Bragg)

1 Cup White Vinegar

~2 pounds prepared watermelon rind

2 Cups water

1.5 Cups white sugar

8 tsp. Kosher Salt

2 TBSP pepper corns

1 TBSP red pepper flakes

1 TBSP coriander seeds

1/4 Cup candied ginger

2-3 Garlic cloves, sliced

2-3 whole bay leaves

2 Whole Star Anise

In a 4 Quart pot, bring all of the ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.

Add the watermelon rind and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.  At this point remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.

Ladle the rind into 2 quart jars and cover with the brine.  Cover and let sit for about 2 hours to cool.  Store the jars in a refrigerator.  These can be stored and used for about 2 months in the refrigerator and will be ready to eat in about 2 weeks if you can wait that long!