I first had pickled watermelon rind at a farm-to-table restaurant in Milan (pronounced MAI-LIN), NY and it seemed odd until I put it in my mouth. Watermelon rind is pretty good and I’ve even had it raw. While at my local co-op, someone had dropped a whole watermelon and it became cull. I took the free watermelon home, shared it with my family, and told them all to keep the rind.


  • 1 whole watermelon rind
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp sea salt (or another coarse, unprocessed salt)
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns (black, pink, white, whatever)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1 tsp cardamom*
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds*
  • 1 star anise*
  • 3 thyme sprigs*
  • 1 bay leaf*

*These spices are arbitrary; I threw stuff in and I hate fennel, so I didn’t add it. I also added Egyptian onions, so the spices are up to you.

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1 pair tongs
  • approx. 3-4 mason jars
  • 1 colander
  • 1 measuring cup

STEP ONE: Prepare the large pot with boiling water for sanitizing the jars. Use the tongs to help you move the jars and lids. Chop the rind into 1-2in pieces. Wash the rind with colander.

STEP TWO: Add dashes of salt to the boiling water and then add the rind. Boil until slightly tender or translucent (approx. 15 mins). BE CAREFUL. I accidentally splashed myself in the eye with boiling water.

STEP THREE: While the rind is cooking, prepare the water, acv, and spices in a small saucepan. Boil for two minutes.

STEP FOUR: Prepare your sanitized jars by first adding the watermelon rind. I squeezed them a bit with the tongs before adding, but you don’t have to do that. Add pickling liquid to jars until it nearly reaches the brim.
STEP FIVE: Let cool and place lids. Store in a dark, cool place for a few days. Enjoy!

P.S. My brother thinks he wouldn’t eat these unless there is an apocalypse and this is the only unspoiled food we have. Will report back.