5 Reasons to Reconsider Trashing Your Watermelon Rind

published Jun 4, 2015
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(Image credit: Ekaterina Kondratova)

If there’s one thing we can all agree on when it comes to summertime and fruit, it’s that summer is not complete without watermelon. Lots and lots of watermelon. What’s not to love about a snack that’s sweet, refreshing, and healthy?

But watermelon isn’t just about the sweet, pink flesh. There’s one part of this fruit you’re probably ignoring (but shouldn’t be): the rind! This is far more than a scrap to be thrown in the trash; it’s more versatile than you think and still has a lot of life left in it.

The watermelon rind is the firm white part of the fruit that’s left behind after the bright pink flesh has been eaten or scooped away. We tend to toss this part of the fruit, but it has a crisp texture similar to a cucumber and is pretty versatile. Just remember to peel or slice away the green peel before transforming the rind into something new.

5 Smart Uses for Your Watermelon Rind

1. Pickle it.

Plan to make this a few days before you use it, so the rind has plenty of time to develop a tangy pickled flavor. Use pickled watermelon rind as a condiment, or add it to your tuna or chicken salad, or even to mixed greens.

→ Recipe: Pickled Watermelon Rind via Bon Appétit

2. Make it into a chutney.

With the outer green skin removed, the white rind can be diced into small pieces and used to make chutney. Use this sweet and tangy condiment as a complement to a spicy curry or serve it atop chicken or alongside grilled fish.

→ Recipe: Watermelon Rind Chutney via Epicurious

3. Use it in an Indian curry.

Remove the outer green peel, and use the white rind, as you would a vegetable, to make a curry. This is actually a specialty dish in parts of India. Paired with spicy chiles and warm spices, watermelon rind provides a subtly sweet, cool complement. Even with a relatively quick cook time, the rind soaks up lots of flavors and softens, without becoming mushy.

→ Recipe: Watermelon Rind Curry via My Heart Beets

4. Make it into a cool gazpacho.

Whether you choose to use it in place of cucumber, or in addition to it, blend the white watermelon rind with tomatoes to make a cool summer gazpacho.

→ Recipe: White Gazpacho With Watermelon Rind via The New York Times

5. Candy it.

We’ve candied things like lemon, orange, and grapefruit peels, so why not add watermelon rind to the list? Turn the leftovers of this sweet summer fruit into candied watermelon rind.

→ Recipe: Candied Watermelon Rind via No Place Like Kitchen

What’s the most interesting way you’ve used a watermelon rind?