Most everyone has seen recipes for watermelon rind pickles- but is the rind edible for anything else?
YES! And since it can make up 25-45% of the total melon weight, eating it makes your money go further.
You can even eat the green part, though it's tough. I prefer removing it. If you use it, at least make sure it's been washed. It is, after all, the part that was sitting on the ground and then handled by everyone else.
The lighter green part can be eaten fresh, or cooked. It has a high water content, a good fiber content, and a little Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6. It also has a compound that converts to the amino acid arginine, and current research indicates it may help relax blood vessels. When fresh, it's somewhat like a really firm cucumber. You can use it in place of cucumbers, chopped apples, fresh zucchini, or celery. It doesn't have as much flavor, so if that matters, you might want to increase any flavorings or spices in the recipe. For instant, if you use watermelon rind in place of celery, it would be tasty to add a little celery seed or celery salt. If you use it in place of apple, you might want to add a little honey and lemon juice.
When it's cooked, it resembles (cooked) zucchini or apples. There's a recipe for a watermelon rind stir-fry at Allrecipes. Or maybe try Watermelon Boats on the Grill (substitute a slab of rind for a half zucchini.) What else could you use it in? Think about all the recipes you use zucchini or yellow summer squash, apples, celery, cucumber, or other bland vegetables. There is actually an entire website devoted to watermelon rind recipes! It's -what else?- WatermelonRind.com A friend of mine made the Watermelon Rind KimChee and loved it. (seehere for a follow-up post on it.)
Meanwhile, here's something from my house the other day- I didn't have celery for my pasta salad, so instead threw in some diced watermelon rind! I weighed the melon and its parts: out of a 16-lb watermelon, 4.5 lbs of its weight was rind. Just so you know.
1 lb. seashell pasta
2-3 Tbsp. pickle juice or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I prefer olive oil or coconut oil)
1 lb. crab or imitation, flaked
1/2 onion, chopped or pureed (for kids!)
1-2 c. grapes
1-2 c. chopped watermelon rind (OR use cucumbers or celery)
3/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Cook and drain the pasta. Add pickle juice or vinegar, along with the oil, to the hot pasta (it soaks in better, resulting in better flavor.) Add crab, onion, grapes, watermelon rind, and salt. Stir well, add pepper to taste, and add more salt if you want it.
Cover and chill.