Watermelon Rind – 3 ways…

Whaaat! – you can eat watermelon rind? – I never knew. Its probably due to being bought up in the UK and only having watermelon once every 3 years and that was because it was on offer in the supermarket (nothing wrong with being frugal!). However, if it wasn’t for my BFF who now lives in Johannesburg, I would never have discovered this fact. He bought me a jar of Waatlemoen konfyt (watermelon jam) from the butchers in Parkhurst and told me to eat it with Kudu pate on crackers. I loved it, he was right.

…and now the Summer is here and the watermelons have taken at least 120 days to grow and ripen, it would be bad manners not to take the time and effort to use all of the watermelon…instead of just eating the red bit and then throwing away the mountain of white rind and green skin.

I´m going to use the rind in 3 ways…

  1. HOT PICKLED RIND – with dill
  2. SWEET RIND CHUNKS – with lemon & orange zest
  3. JAMMIN RIND – with added lime and ginger

My Sandia (watermelon in Spanish!)  has been grown in the hills behind where I live in San Miguel De Abona, Tenerife. I’ve used .75 of a full melon for these recipes and its rind has produced 10-12 jars in total, so far.

These are really easy recipes, the only effort required is to keep an eye on the rind while it cooks….Before you start you will need to peel the green skin off the water melon. I cut the melon into quarters to be able to do this with a vegetable peeler.



this should make 3 – 4 jars of pickles


  • 1 quarter of watermelon – peeled and cut into spears (to fit your jar)
  • 400ml cider vinegar
  • 200ml water
  • 100g brown sugar
  • half a lemon sliced finely
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp pickling spice
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 2 cloves
  • fresh dill


  1. picklingliquorPut the spears of watermelon rind into a saucepan and cover with boiling water and a dessert spoon of coarse salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Then strain the watermelon.
  2. Take another smaller saucepan and bring the cider vinegar, water, sugar, pickling spice, all spice berry and cloves to a boil over medium-high heat. Hold the boil for 60 seconds then carefully add the watermelon. Return to a boil and turn off the heat.
  3. Put the spears into sterilised jars. (wash the jars and then put into the oven at 100c for 15 minutes) and pour over the pickling liquid, making sure that the pickles are all covered.
  4. Add fresh dill to the jars for decoration and flavour.
  5. Leave to cool completely, then store in the fridge.

SUGGESTION: I prefer to team these pickles with meats rather than cheese.
Below – fresh lean ham served on homemade rosemary and black pepper oatcakes
(a healthy version with no butter)




this should make 3-4 jars

Before you start…. you will need to peel a quarter of watermelon and dice into bite size chunks then soak overnight in water. Place the watermelon chunks into a bowl and cover with boiling water, when the water has cooled completely put into the fridge overnight.


  • 1 quarter of watermelon – peeled and diced – for me this was 800g
  • zest of 1 lemon and orange only the skin not the pith
  • juice of 1 lemon and orange
  • 300g brown cane sugar
  • half a cinnamon stick
  • half a thumb size of ginger chopped finely
  • 5 cardamon pods

TO MAKE:sweet-chunks

  1. Take the soaked watermelon chunks and strain the water into a bowl/jug. Put the chunks into a large saucepan and then add enough of your strained water to just cover the chunks. Don´t throw away the water you may need it later.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium heat.
  3. Boil for 15 minutes then add the sugar and stir to make sure it is all dissolved
  4. Add the zest and juice of the lemon & orange, the ginger, cardamon pods and cinnamon, then reduce the boil to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, partially covered stirring every now and then to keep an eye on the pan.
  5. If you start to get low on water, add some of the water you reserved earlier.
  6. The mixture will begin to look like a dark syrup and the watermelon will now look more translucent, to check it is done, remove a chunk from the pan and put it to one side to cool, it should have a bite but be lovely and tender.
  7. Transfer the chunks to sterilised jars and make sure the chunks are completely covered with the syrup
  8. Leave to cool then store in a cool place. once opened, keep them in the fridge.

SUGGESTION: These are gorgeous with a sharp cheddar cheese. These sweet chunks could be used in biscuits and cakes as a replacement for boring old sultanas.

Below – cheddar served on homemade rosemary and black pepper oatcakes
(a healthy version with no butter)




this should make 3-4 jars

Before you start you will need to soak diced watermelon in water and salt for 3 hours.



  • 1 quarter of watermelon – peeled and diced.
  • 2 limes finely sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 300g brown cane sugar
  • half a cinnamon stick
  • a large thumb of ginger chopped finely


  1. Strain the water from the watermelon you have soaked in salt for 3 hours and then wash 3 times in fresh water.
  2. Put the watermelon into a large saucepan and cover with no more than 1cm of water.
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes on a high heat
  4. Then lower the heat to a simmer and add the sugar, lime slices, lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger
  5. Simmer on a low – medium heat for 2 hours until the watermelon becomes translucent, sticky and tender
  6. Remove from the heat and put the mixture into sterilised jars.

SUGGESTION: This is one of my favourite jams so far…dollop it on toast, dollop it on scones…delicious, I´m making more…



So what did I do with the red stuff? 

  • made 4 large watermelon margaritas. I know, but I needed them after the watermelon -athon
  • made 4 watermelon mimosas – no I didnt drink all of these (all in one go anyway)
  • chopped up some and put it in the freezer to add to smoothies
  • chopped up some more and put it in the freezer for more margaritas (I know!)
  • ate it before going to the gym (it helps your muscles recover quicker apparently)
  • ate it after the gym (muscles were killing me from over doing squats)
  • ate it for lunch with feta cheese and mint

…and here´s what I did with the green skin


….have a great weekend



One thought on “Watermelon Rind – 3 ways…

  1. Pingback: Homemade Mini Oatcakes | knob & dollop

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