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Pickled Watermelon-Rind Relish

This sweet-tart relish is a staple of the American South; it is particularly good with barbecued chicken or pork.

  • Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 quarts

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2002

Ingredients

  • 1 watermelon (about 20 pounds)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 half-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Using a sharp knife, slice watermelon in half lengthwise; scoop out flesh, and reserve for another use. Scrape rind with a large metal spoon to remove all traces of pink. Cut rind crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Using a sharp knife, peel green skin from rind, and discard; cut away any bruises or bad spots. Slice rind into 2-inch lengths.

  2. In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the water and salt. Add watermelon rind; let soak overnight, covered, at room temperature. Rinse 2 or 3 times in fresh cold water, and drain well in a colander.

  3. Heat sugar and vinegar in a nonreactive stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and the watermelon rind, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover, and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand overnight at room temperature.

  4. Transfer watermelon relish to jars or airtight containers; cover, and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

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