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Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles

This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Cantaloupe, pumpkin or winter squash rind can be cut into pieces and pickled in the same way.

4 pounds watermelon rind, all pink flesh removed
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
4 cups sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 lemon, sliced thin


¼ cup salt
1 quart water

Pare watermelon rind into 1"x2" pieces about 1" thick, or into ¾"x1" cubes. Weigh pieces to make sure you use the correct amount of rind.

Soak rind overnight in brine made by dissolving ¼ cup salt in each quart of water (Make enough brine to cover rind).

Drain rind, wash in fresh water and drain again.

Combine remaining ingredients, and boil together 5 minutes. Spices may be tied in a cheesecloth bag if desired. Add rind to syrup a few pieces at a time, and cook until rind is clear (Simmer about 30 minutes).

Pack rind in sterilized jars, and cover with boiling syrup.

Note: These pickles must be consumed right away. If you wish to preserve them for the long term, they must be canned in a hot water bath. Yields 5-6 pints.