You see them at just about every summer picnic and cook out, watermelons. Sometimes there are several gracing the table, more than enough to satisfy your guests. If it is a potluck picnic, it is inevitable that several guests will have nothing prepared, and stop at the grocery market just before arriving at the picnic and grab a watermelon from the produce department. I have been there and done that.
For your next cook out, give yourself a little time and get the watermelon in advance, say the night before. Then you can prepare something special using a part of the watermelon that most people toss away, the rind.
Watermelon rinds are perfectly edible and can serve as the centerpiece for a summer salad. Pickled watermelon rind in garlic tastes similar to a garlicky cucumber salad. In Asia, pickled watermelon rind is served as a cold dish to compliment meals on a hot humid summer day. It can serve as a perfect contrast to a hot, spicy main dish.
For best results, you should prepare the salad the night before and let the watermelon rind marinate overnight in the dressing.
You will need a watermelon for a pickled watermelon rind salad plus these ingredients:
Dressing for Pickled Watermelon Rind
1/4 cup white vinegar
A dash of salt
A dash of sugar
1 or more cloves of chopped garlic
A couple of drops of sesame oil.
Cut the watermelon in quarters. Cut along the rind and remove red part of the watermelon and cube it. You can refrigerate the red cubed watermelon and serve it in a separate bowl on the day of your picnic. If you want to add a little color contrast to your salad, you can leave a thin ribbon or red flesh on the rind.
Now you should be left with the white rinds. Remove the outer green skin of the rind, so that you are left with the white portion of the watermelon rind. Cut the rind into thin strips, julienne style, about a quarter of an inch thick and an inch or two long, and place the strips in a bowl. Then, mix in the dressing and toss. You may need to adjust the ingredients slightly depending on the amount of watermelon rind you have. For example, you may need to add a little vinegar, salt, sugar, or garlic. The flavor you want to present is entirely up to you. Be careful with the sesame oil. Sesame oil has a very strong flavor and a few drops will be all that you need. You can server the salad immediately or for best results, refrigerate overnight.
When you serve the dish, see if your guests will be able to guess the main ingredient!