Pickled Watermelon: Summertime in a Jar
I was very skeptical when my sister first introduced me to watermelon pickles. Who would take the sweetness that it is watermelon, add salt and vinegar, and pickle it? It was watermelon blasphemy!
But as a woman in my forties, I have resolved to expand my food horizons from just meat and potatoes. I have even learned to enjoy roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted cabbage!
I should have trusted my sister - the pickles were delicious! Tangy, with a hint of sweetness and the essence of watermelon. It is now my favorite wintertime treat. It lets me remember the hot sunny days of summer.
Some people like to cut their watermelon into strips, but I prefer mine in chunks that are just the right size for popping into my mouth. Enjoy!
- 12 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 large watermelon, seeded
- 14 heads dill
- 7 cayenne peppers
- 14 carrot slices, (optional)
- 14 cloves garlic
- Put the water, sugar, vinegar, pickling spice, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare remaining ingredients, cutting watermelon into approximately 1 or 2 inch square chunks. Leaving a thin strip of white rind on the pieces will help the chunks hold together. Let watermelon chunks drain in colander as the brine boils.
- Put one sprig of dill into a jar. Put 2 cloves garlic, 1 cayenne peppers, and 2 carrot slices into a sterilized quart jar. Add watermelon cubes, shaking jar gently to pack ingredients. Add the second sprig of dill.
- Pour simmering brine into jars to 1/2 inch below the rim of the jar. Wipe rim clean and put on canning lids.
- Completely submerge the jars in a canner and boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and let cool. Check for proper seal before storing in a cool place. Pickles should be ready in 3 to 4 weeks.