Rating: 2 stars
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Gently rendered, crispy bacon comes together with sweet-and-sour pickled watermelon rind in this salty, tangy, chewy snack. As they bake together in the oven, the bacon takes on the fruity brine, while the watermelon rind takes on the savory, smoky aroma of the bacon. Use standard-cut bacon for the best results; thick-cut slices will not cook evenly. At her summer home on Martha's Vineyard, cookbook author and scholar Jessica B. Harris serves these hors d'oeuvres —  a spin on the rumaki of the 1960s inspired by her friend, Ken Smith, in New Orleans — in her living room along with a Guadeloupean Ti' Punch cocktail as a precursor to dinner. They're also a hit (with a cocktail) at her "five to sevens"—gatherings on the porch with drinks and small bites, so-called because they take place between the hours of five and seven. For the best watermelon rind pickles, Harris  recommends Walnut Creek or Prissy's jarred watermelon rind pickles for their firm texture and not too cloyingly sweet taste. Cut larger pickles in half to form 1-inch squares for even cooking.

Gallery

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary

active:
15 mins
total:
40 mins
Yield:
8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wrap each pickled watermelon rind piece with 1 bacon half; secure with a wooden pick. Arrange wrapped pieces on prepared baking sheet spaced at least 1/2 inch apart.

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  • Bake in preheated oven until bacon is mostly rendered and starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip each piece, and continue baking until bacon is browned and crisp on both sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully transfer pieces to a platter, letting excess drippings drip off onto baking sheet. Discard drippings. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead

Watermelon rind pickles can be wrapped in bacon a day ahead and baked just before serving. Reheat leftover bacon-wrapped pickles at 350°F until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Note

Jarred pickled watermelon rind can be purchased online at walnutcreekfoods.com or prissys.com

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