Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickled Watermelon- Local Food- Summer 2011

I bought these from the lady who wears the big hat at the farmer's market.

The local food challenge is one I was very interested in.  I had several ideas.  I finally decided on pickled watermelon rind.  I’d never had it before, but the idea intrigued me.  I finally decided to do a Bread and Butter style pickle.  I don’t know why they’re called bread and butter, but if you’ve ever had bread and butter pickled cucumbers you know what they are.  Here’s the recipe:
  • 8 cups cubed watermelon rind
  • 2 lbs onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds (brown or yellow)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 4 cups white vinegar
Both the onions and watermelon were purchased at the local  farmer’s market.
Scrape out the watermelon until there is just a hint of pink left on the rind.  Then peel/cut off the green. Cut into one inch chunks. 

 Layer the watermelon, onions and salt in a bowl.  Cover with ice cubes and let sit for 2 hours.
In the meantime, sterilize your jars and lids.  Get your water bath ready.  Once the two hours is up, drain and rinse the melon and onion.  


Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, add the melon and onion, return to boil.  Fill jars and process in the water bath for 10 minutes. 

Remove, let cool for 12 hours or so.  These get better with a few days of aging.  

Only made 5 pints.

I really enjoyed making these.  I think they turned our beautiful and was fun experience for my second canning endeavor. 

BUT the real test is in how they taste.  

 Terrible.  Absolutely terrible. 
If I made these again, I would triple rinse after the two hour salting.  And increase the sugar to 4 (maybe even 5 cups).


  1. The build up for this post was so exciting. And they look sooo pretty. But the reveal of their taste really made me giggle. Hope it's better next time.

  2. I'm still laughing typing this. Thanks!

  3. Am laughing too!!! Proof of what happens to all of us in the kitchen - not everything comes out good!!! I grew up with pickled watermelon rind and love it - never had it done this way though. We do it in a wonderful sweet syrup of cinnamon and cloves. Has there been a pickle challenge yet??

  4. OH NO! I hate it when I spend a lot of time on something that doesn't work... but they ARE pretty.

  5. I have yet to taste any bread and butter pickling that was any good, so I'm sure you have plenty of company. And Nikki's right. They really are beautiful. You could sell them alongside the pretty jars of oil that no one ever actually intends to consume as kitchen adornments.

  6. Thanks everyone. They actually have gotten a little bit better and are now actually edible if not tasty. @Keep Growing: if you want a decorative jar just let me know.