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Culinary Class: Pretty in Pink

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Culinary Class: Pretty in Pink
Photography by Jonathan Boncek

Not your grandma’s pickled watermelon rind.

 

No doubt a product of the Southern conviction that nothing should go to waste, pickled watermelon rinds are a Dixie delicacy that, for many, evoke memories of grandmothers pulling out jars of sweet pickles on sweltering summer days.

Traditional pickled rind recipes call for clove, cinnamon, and heaps of sugar, which renders the rinds to a near candied state. But we’re putting a spin on the classic, brightening the brine with fresh ginger and infusing it with star anise pods, cinnamon sticks, and pink peppercorns.

The result is a tart and ever-so-sweet pickle that’s perfect for summertime snacking. Avoid the sticky countertop situation that inevitably follows a watermelon slicing session by using a concave cutting board, which will contain the juice to the center of the board. We also recommend at least partially straining the brine prior to pickling—leaving all the aromatics in can result in some seriously spiced pickles. Enjoy the rinds as a simple summer snack alongside cheese and crackers, as a burger topping, or chopped into a seasonal relish.

It’s time to meet your new favorite pickle.

TLP’S PICKLED WATERMELON RIND BRINE

1 medium watermelon

1 cup water

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 teaspoons pink peppercorns

4 cinnamon sticks

4 star anise pods