Romanian cuisine has a lot of interesting dishes, that combine tastes and flavor in ways that a lot us might find strange at start. We grow up with pickles, it is a huge part of our cuisine and it is even a reason of pride. It is common to share the pickles that you make with your family and neighbors and to get some jars from them as well, to go home and taste, compare, exchange tips and tricks and personalize the recipes. Or, if your pickles are very appreciated you can create a bit of mystery around them and keep your recipe secret. Well, I guess no mystery here for you, since I am about to reveal how to make a delicious side dish that can replace your salad, that goes great with a piece of meat, or next to a vegetables stew, or just out of the jar, cold from the fridge, to cool off those hot summer days.
Pickled Spicy Watermelon
Improve your pickles game with this summery spicy watermelon
- 1 small watermelon (1/5 - 2 kg)
- 6 cups water
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 red hot chili peppers
- 4 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
Was the watermelon using a brush, you want to make sure that the skin is very, very clean.
Wash your jar thoroughly, I am using a 4 liters tall jar, you can use anything close to that volume.
Slice the watermelon into small triangles, depending on the jar that you use.
Make a bed at the bottom of the jar out of half of the dill, half of the peppercorns, half of the garlic cloves (whole, not chopped), one chili pepper chopped (I left the seeds inside, if you don't like your watermelon too spicy, remove the seeds).
Top the herbs and spices with watermelon slices, leaving 5 cm on top.
In a medium pot, combine the water, salt, sugar, vinegar and peppercorns and bring to a simmer until the sugar and the salt have dissolved.
Pour the liquid in the jar, enough to cover the slices to the top.
Cover with the rest of the dill, peppers, garlic cloves etc.,, cover with a towel (do not close the lid at this point!) and let the mixture cool off.
Depending how sour you like your pickles you can leave the watermelon at room temperature from 24 hours for a very mild sour taste, up to 3 days for very sour pickled slices.