I am always grateful for a new good recipe. Each new recipe is a true slice of happiness for me. It becomes part of my life, I will make over and over again, I will warmly recommend it to others.
Immodestly – and despite all my experiments – I have to confess that rarely I find something that is so memorable, simple and intense that I fall in love with.
This recipe is a splendid gift of John S. whom I will thank forever. It is exotically American but it pairs beautifully with our Prosciutto di Norcia or a nice aged pecorino. This is my type of fusion food.
I use the rind of one watermelon. When we have a good watermelon, every day I remove the rind from the slices we’ll eat after our meal. I keep the rinds in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until the watermelon is finished, generally 3-4 days. This way I don’t have to clean a whole watermelon if I don’t need to.
- 1 water melon
- 2 kg (9 cups) sugar
- 1lt. (4 cups) vinegar
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp of allspice or ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods
Cut the rind into strips and remove the green outer skin. Dice into cubes about 1 cm (1/2 inch) long. Don’t make the cubes too small or they will become mushy when cooked.
Place the cubes in a large bowl and cover with water adding 2 tbsp. salt per liter (quart) of water. Place a weight over the rind and let it soak overnight.
Drain and rinse in fresh water. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the rind until just tender, approx. 1/2 hr. Drain and cool down in ice water.
In a separate pan prepare a spiced syrup using 4 cups of water, the sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add rinds and boil for 1/2 hr.
Pack the rind cubes into sterilized jam jars and cover withe the hot syrup, seal. Wait at least for 4 weeks before using.
One whole water melon yields about 2. 5 kg. (5 lbs) rind and makes five 1/2 lt (1 pint) jars