Watermelon rind is cured in salt, then pickled. A Southern tradition, this relish is customarily served at picnics and barbecues. Since this recipe only uses the rind, you can use the flesh to prepare Cucumber, Asian Pear, and Watermelon Salad with Ricotta Salata.
Cut watermelon in half. Scoop out watermelon pulp; reserve for another use. Carefully remove outer green layer from watermelon rind using a vegetable peeler. Cut peeled rind into 1 1/2-inch cubes to measure about 4 cups.
Combine rind and salt in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and refrigerate 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Remove rind from bag; drain. Rinse rind thoroughly under cold water; drain. Place rind in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above rind; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well. Place rind in a large bowl.
Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot sugar mixture over rind; let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate 5 days. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
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