Pickled Watermelon Rind

We don’t often think about the rind of watermelon – do you? This year I have decided to pickle it, to extend our focus on lowering food waste and, as much as possible, using every edible part of a plant.

Pickling watermelon rind is quite easy but does take a couple of non-effort days. I have followed the non-cook approach, although some recipes do simmer the rind before or during pickling.

First the rind, sans the green skin, is salted overnight (soaked in brine), then rinsed and placed in a pickling liquid of vinegar and spices. It is edible after 1 hour, but is better if left a few days. It will keep indefinitely if stored in sterilised jars in the fridge.

In Nopi, Ottolenghi has an approach to pickling the rind which is pretty much the same as most other recipes. He uses the rind in a Watermelon Soup and also in a Watermelon Salad. They both sound delicious.

Similar recipes include Mango and Ginger Pickle, Green Mango Pickle, and Chinese Pickled Cucumber.

Browse all of our Watermelon recipes and all of our Pickles. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

This is a great salad for the beach or eating under the verandah or the grapevine arbour on a hot day. It’s a salad to go with lots of conversation, a glass of beer and jugs of home made lemonade.

It is the saltiness of the feta  and the sweet juiciness of the watermelon that makes this salad remarkable. It is best served really chilled. Make sure that you use the Greek style feta if you can, not the Danish style which is much creamier and mild. But either will do in a pinch.

The feta can be replaced by other salty cheeses – try halloumi, or cheeses from Turkish, Afghani, Greek or Middle Eastern shops. Try young white cheeses in brine, salty ricotta and ewe’s milk cheeses. Experiment and try different ones until you find the ones that you most enjoy.

The success or failure of all recipes depends on good ingredients, but perhaps this one more than most. The watermelon needs to be sweet and juicy, the feta salty and crumbly, the extra virgin olive oil velvety in texture. Get those right, and it’s sunshine on a plate.

This recipe, as simple as it is, is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. The recipe is fairly traditional, though, and can be found online in many locations. We’ve been making our Watermelon and Halloumi Salad, a slight variation, since the 1990’s. Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Ottolenghi has another recipe for Watermelon and Feta salad in Nopi. It adds marinated olives (make your own or purchase ones marinated in herbs, chilli and lemon) and pickled watermelon rind. You can add these to the salad below if you wish.

For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Halloumi Salad, Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, and Thai Style Red Radish and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Watermelon Salads and all of our Feta Salads. Or browse all of our Mid Summer dishes.

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Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

Cold soup is a treasure of Summer weather. Some countries (eg India and the Middle East) have a whole cuisine of cold drinks that are sipped in the extreme weather of the hottest periods of the year, and countries such as Spain have a cuisine of cold soups to slurp in similar weather. Here, we have neither although our weather in Summer equals or exceeds that of those countries. It is a puzzle why that is.

Never fear, here in our little patch of Australia, both cold soups and cold drinks prevail in hot weather.  From the simplest (juice tomatoes with a tiny piece of chill, serve as a soup with basil, spring onions, black pepper, sea salt) to beautiful but out of fashion vichyssoise varieties.

Today we make a Gazpacho style soup with watermelon as well as tomato. It is delicious on a hot Summer evening, eating on the deck or verandah with friends and family. Serve as a soup, or even as a savoury drink, like you might serve a tomato juice – leave the bread out if you are going to serve it this way. Sipped or slurped, it is wonderful.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, from Plenty More, although I have added some cucumber back into the recipe. I love its juice and can’t imagine a gazpacho without it. It makes a difference. Sometimes, I have also added the juice of zucchinis (surprisingly delicious and cooling) in the past too, because I had a glut of them, and it is delicious. It is such a light and delicious soup, and easy to make – you will want to make it all Summer.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Cold Cucumber Soup, Coriander and Lemongrass VichyssoiseGazpacho,  and Cold Avocado Soup.

Browse all of our Cold Soups and all of our Tomato Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad

This year we are still getting watermelons quite late in the season, and the new season apples are beginning to hit the shops. So we have been drinking watermelon juice (yum) and making Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho, eating it sitting outside with the birds and butterflies in the garden.

We have a number of Watermelon Salads that we make, and love the one with halloumi. Today’s salad is new to us, and we love it. It has the flair of S. E. Asia with lemongrass, lime, mint and coriander. We found the recipe in Ottolenghi’s Guardian column, and made a few tiny changes to it. It is a divine salad and one that now features each year in our Xmas week menus.

[Update: The recipe now also appears in Ottolenghi’s latest book Simple.]

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Feta Salad, Apple and Grape Kachumber, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Watermelon Salad, and Watermelon Salad with Peaches and Basil.

Browse all of our Watermelon Salads and all of our Apple Salads. All of our Salads are here. Our dishes from Ottolenghi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Summery Watermelon-Lime-Ginger Soda with Spices

Such a Summery drink, gorgeous for sunny days, eating snacks. laughing and giggling while you sit on the lawn under the shade of a large tree or umbrella. Tangy and gingery, it is also cooling and will lift the spirits of anyone.

We even made this in Autumn, with the last of the watermelons for the season, and the weather is sunny and lovely. A last hurrah to Summer and watermelon.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Summer Cooler, Kewra Sherbet, Rose Lassi, and Roasted Green Mango Drink.

Browse all of our Indian drinks and all of our Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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100 Vegetables: #79. Watermelon Salads to Beat the Heat

Watermelon has this household hooked in the Summer hot weather – that luscious pink colour going looking so good in the heat, and the juices running down onto one’s plate (or down one’s chin). Eaten with a sucking noise, to extract every piece of juice, it cools and supplies a sugar energy boost at the same time.

It is so good to slice it, take it outside and eat with ones hands, the rind still on, gnawing at it to get the last of the pink bits. Or cut into cubes, more delicately eaten with a fork, popping ice-cold cubes into our mouths with regular automatic movements of fork to cube to mouth and back again.

Watermelon Salads are the perfect way to beat the heat, and as the temperatures soar here, the first order of the day is to make salads to chill until snack time or meal time. Here are our favourites.

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Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives

Well, watermelon has this household hooked in the Summer hot weather – that luscious pink colour going looking so good in the heat, and the juices running down onto one’s plate (or down one’s chin). Eaten with a sucking noise, to extract every piece of juice, it cools and supplies a sugar energy boost at the same time.

It is so good to slice it, take it outside and eat with ones hands, the rind still on, gnawing at it to get the last of the pink bits. Or cut into cubes, more delicately eaten with a fork, popping ice-cold cubes into our mouths with regular automatic movements of fork to cube to mouth and back again.

Today we mix it with feta, such a good mix, some onion, mint and olives, for a quick salad. I have some creamy feta from the local Afghan shop, so creamy it can be spread onto flatbread for quick snacks. But today I managed to save some for the salad.

We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Feta Salad, Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, Apple and Grape Salad with Spices, and Haloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Also try Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes, and Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato.

All of our Watermelon Salads are here, and all of our other Watermelon recipes are here. You could browse all of our many Salad recipes. Or take some time to browse our Mid Summer dishes.

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Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Thai Style

Radishes have been called the Unsung Hero of the Vegetable world. This year I began growing them in my newly formed vegetable patch. Easy and quick to grow, they are featuring more and more in my dishes. They add spice, texture and colour.

Radishes come in a range of colours – white, red, green, purple or black (or anything in between); they can be round, oval or long, big or small, and taste anywhere from mild to peppery. They are versatile vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked.

Here they are paired with watermelon, a fruit of summer that I love to use in salads, as well as drinking its juice, or simply eat on very hot days, in the garden, spitting its seeds, Australian Style, into the garden (and then they appear next year as seedlings!).

We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post. Or perhaps try these recipes: Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, and Haloumi and Watermelon Salad.

You might also like these Radish dishes: Mung Sprout, Edamame and Radish Salad, Radish Salad with Soy and Sesame, Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad, Spicy Radish Salad with Coconut Milk, or Jicama, Red Radish and Green Mango Salad.

Also try Raw Vegetable Salad with Mustardy Mayo Dressing.

Browse our Watermelon Salads, all of the other Watermelon recipes, our Radish Salads, and all of our other Radish Recipes. Check out our many Salad recipes, or our S. E. Asian recipes. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post.

Similar recipes include Zucchini Juice Coolers,  and Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs. Browse our Lassi recipes too, for stunning Summer fruit and yoghurt smoothies. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice so you can include that in your juices?

Browse our Juice Collections:

Browse our other drinks and juices.  Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Watermelon Salad

A salad good enough even for breakfast.

On hot days, there is nothing better than a light refreshing breakfast. In the hottest of weathers, make a salad for breakfast – for example with white beans, lentils, or vegetables. It is not a strange thing in our house – this habit was developed after travel in India, SE Asia, other parts of Asia and parts of Europe. In many places there is a greater variety in breakfast dishes, and they are not limited to sweet juices, sweet cereals, toast and eggs. I developed a real liking for diverse and savoury breakfast variety.

This morning, the temperatures lingering for days around the 35C mark, and a watermelon lying temptingly in the fridge, breakfast was a tangy, spicy, watermelon salad that put a zip into the morning. Of course it is also good at any other time of the day too.

Similar recipes include Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Haloumi and Watermelon Salad, or Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil.

Try other recipes with Chaat Masala: Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Borlotti Bean Chaat, Spicy Vegetable Sticks and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Browse our Watermelon Salads (and all of our Watermelon recipes). Find out what else we have for breakfast, and browse all of our many Salad recipes. Or explore the collection of Late Summer dishes.

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