Pickled watermelon

Serves: 4

Pickled watermelon

If you are a regular to these pages you might have guessed that I am a pickle lover. Recently in New York, I had a plateful of the most delicious watermelon pickle. Pretty much straight off the plane I headed into the kitchen to try and recreate said dish. These pickles, if I say so myself, are as good as I tasted at The Gramercy Tavern where, by the way, you must eat if you find yourself  in that fabulous city. Eat them with barbecued wings or ribs, cold meats, smoked fish or in a salad with blanched fine beans and crumbled feta.


  • 1 small watermelon, about 1.4kg
  • 1 scant teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 sprigs dill plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
Pickled watermelon


  1. Slice the watermelon into 1cm thick rounds. Cut each round into eighths. Cut off the rind and pick out the seeds. Place the wedges in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over the Maldon salt. Leave for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile make the pickling liquor. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan and add the sugar, coriander and fennel seeds and 3 sprigs dill. Warm over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and immediately take off the heat. Leave to cool.
  3. When the pickling liquor is cold pour through a sieve onto the watermelon. I like to save a few of the seeds to sprinkle onto the watermelon. Stir in the chopped dill and leave for 1 hour. Eat the pickled watermelon within 24 hours.     
Pickled watermelon