Watermelon pickles are something I’ve wanted to make for a long time. I’ve heard people talk about them, and I always figured there had to be something I could do with the rinds leftover from my watermelons. Watermelon pickles are just like regular ole cucumber pickles but with a great twist. They’re good and crunchy. All those years of seeing these and I wait this long to finally make them. What was I thinking?
This particular recipe makes watermelon pickles that are sweet at the start and spicy at the end. You could eat them right out of the jar or even put them on hot dogs or hamburgers for something totally different.
I’m contemplating chopping a few of these watermelon pickles and making a relish or even watermelon pico de gallo. I think it’d come out delicious. The flavor balance is perfect, not overly sweet or spicy. The pickling spice is strong, which I like a lot, but if you’re not such a fan of the cloves in it you might want to use slightly less or remove some of them before adding to the brine.
Blanch the watermelon rind by bringing 4 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil in a pot over high heat. Stir until the salt dissolves.
Add the watermelon rind. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering until just starting to turn tender (you want them to still be a bit crispy), about 5 minutes.
Skim off any fat and drain. Transfer to a large bowl.
Make the brine by bringing the remaining 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon salt, vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, and red pepper (if using) to a boil in saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the brine over the watermelon rind.
Cover with a plate to keep the rind submerged and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer to glass jars, cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Combine and store: Pour the hot brine over the rind. Use a small plate or a Ziplock bag partially filled with water (I use the Ziplock bag) to hold the rind under the brine. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer the rind and brine into clean glass jars (I use Mason jars), cover and chill before serving. Keep refrigerated – they’ll keep several months.
Want to surprise everyone at your next picnic or get-together? Bring jarred grilled pickles. Everyone will want to know how you did it. You don’t have to admit how easy it was, unless you really want to. The pickles do get a little char flavor, but not much. They still taste like, well, dill pickles, but when you bite into them they have just slightly less crunch. The grilled red onions do add a nice light onion flavor and bite.
These jarred grilled pickles are good for 5 days. My guess is that you won’t have to worry about rushing to eat them on the last day that they’re good. And don’t feel like you have to grill only spears. Sliced pickles or even whole pickles can be grilled just as well. If you don’t want to grill the pickles but still want a hint of grilled flavor, just grill some red onion and then add that to a jar of pickles and refrigerate overnight. You’ll get that hint of smoke but the pickles themselves will be totally crispy.
If you can’t fit all of the pickles back into the original jar just grab some Mason jars instead.
Ever since I made a crazy good batch of Nashville Hot Chicken I’ve been jonesin’ for that same great hot crunchy experience on other foods. Like fried pickles. Making these Nashville Hot Pickles was easy, and boy are they packed with a nice kick! I didn’t go the mild route with these, that’s for sure. And to make sure I kept the burn going I served the pickles with a habanero ranch sauce for dipping. If you like spicy, then you’ve come to the right place!
You’re going to see other great dishes like this one for Nashville Hot Pickles here on Life’s A Tomato. I love that great crunchy breading and that fiery hot seasoning. Next up? I’m thinking chicken fingers! Or maybe nuggets! And maybe even chicken wings.
If I’m cooking for a crowd, I’ll break out my big deep fryer. But, if it’s just the two of us, I’ll fire up my Fry Daddy fryer. It’s the perfect size for both of us. It fries everything perfectly. And as an added bonus, it doesn’t use a lot of oil, which saves me money.