Spicy Watermelon Rind SaladPosted: August 30, 2015
Friday evening I saw a Facebook post from Rosewood Market in Columbia, SC that read, “Come by and try a famous Bradford watermelon for yourself!” I quickly messaged them to see if they were selling Bradford watermelons and they replied that they were. Even though I was exhausted from a long, crazy day, I loaded my 5 year old up in the car and we rushed to Rosewood Market to get a Bradford watermelon. I bought one of the 4 they had left. I could barely contain my excitement.
So, what is the big deal about the Bradford watermelon? Well, it’s a southern heirloom watermelon known for its incredible sweetness and taste that was thought to have been lost to history. It’s rebirth is a fascinating story. Read about it here and here.
Unfortunately, my Bradford watermelon didn’t turn out to be good. It was way overripe. Juice poured out of it with the first cut. As with overripe melons, the flesh deteriorates, as does it’s flavor and texture. My watermelon was not edible. What a huge disappointment! In order to salvage what I could, I removed the seeds and processed the rind. I’m planning on sharing the seeds with some friends and with my son’s school’s Greenhouse Club. I will even try my hand at growing a Bradford watermelon in my garden next year. I have plans for the rind, as well. I started off with this salad.
Spicy Watermelon Rind Salad
rind from 1/4 – 1/2 watermelon (depending on size)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 jalapenos (to taste), seeded and minced
handful of fresh basil leaves (or Thai basil), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 tsp. and add more, if needed)
Cut the watermelon rind into strips about 1-inch wide. Cut off the outer green skin. Next cut off any remaining pink/red flesh. Slice the rind thinly. You want about 4 cups of slice watermelon rind.
Combine the sliced watermelon rind, onion, jalapenos, and basil in a bowl. In another bowl (or measuring cup) combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour the mixture over the watermelon rind salad. Mix to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.