DO NOT throw away those watermelon rinds. Make pickles instead.

This recipe is from Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst. See all of her watermelon recipes here.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Kathy’s Note: You buy a big beautiful watermelon. You eat all the sweet flesh and then you’re getting ready to throw away the rind. STOP! Keep the rind to make these delicious pickles. They take about 20 minutes to make and will keep in your refrigerator for several weeks. Serve with cheese platters, grilled ribs, burgers, chicken or seafood. They are particularly good served with rich foods as they are light, fruity and refreshing.

4 cups watermelon rind
2/3 cup sugar
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 5 pieces
2 tablespoons Kosher salt or canning salt
½ tablespoon black peppercorns
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
1 dried Serrano chile, crumbled with or without seeds, depending if you like your pickles with a little spice or not
1 cinnamon stick, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 ½ cups cold water

Cut the dark green exterior of the rind off and then cut the pale white pieces into 1 ½-inch pieces. Place the rind in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and place a small plate on top of the rind to keep it submerged in the pickling liquid in the pot; let cool one hour.

Place the rind and all the pickling liquid and spices into a large canning jar(s) and seal. Place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or so. Serve cold.