Watermelon Rind Salad
THEME: #235 BEST FROM WASTE
Best from Waste:
A much required but hardly ever discussed topic. How can we reduce kitchen waste? Our Grandmothers and Mothers were a frugal lot, hardly ever passing off anything as waste when it comes to kitchen waste. What do we mean by kitchen waste? Its not all the wrappings that come with your food but green waste. Watch any cookery show and you will see chefs peeling away thick layers from a fruit and vegetable and throwing it away, trimming food to make it appear perfect, and in the process wasting food. Have you noticed how a huge chunk is cut off from carrots, cucumbers, beetroots, tomatoes… that’s not called trimming! Trimming means cutting a thin slice off where the stem part is.
How can one reduce Kitchen Waste?
- Wherever possible use vegetables with the peel. E.g. whenever red carrots are in season in India, I just wash them thoroughly and use them unpeeled as the skin is very thin.
- Use potatoes with the skin, especially young potatoes for salads or sabjis, cook them with the skin. Make roasted chips or French fries with the skin. Potato skin is so nutritious. I love to use baby potatoes without peeling them when I make my Pesto Roasted Potato Salad.
- Don’t throw away stems or stalks of coriander. They are the most flavorful part. I tend to add finely chopped coriander stems in my curries, dals and kadhi. I use the leaves more as a garnish. Whenever I prepare coriander chutney, the stems go into it.
- When I need spinach puree for parathas, curries, pasta sauces etc, I blanch the thick stems too. Not only do you get a larger quantity of the puree as you’ve included the stalks but its less kitchen waste.
- Recently I came across a recipe by Shobha where she used cauliflower stalks to prepare a lip smacking Stir Fried Cauliflower Stalks. How innovative is that?
- Make chutneys or dips from the peels. My grandmother would never allow us to throw away cucumber peel. It had to be turned into a flavorful chutney. Archana, who has suggested the theme this week uses ridge gourd peels to make a chutney. Priya Satheesh has an awesome collection of chutneys and I really never knew that bottle gourd (doodhi) peel can be used to make a chutney.
- These days greens from beetroots, carrots are used to make soups and salads.
- Do not remove tomato skin when making sauce or puree.
- Lata a fellow blogger, uses onion peel to make an unusual but very colorful Onion Peel Tea. Go on I know curiosity has got the better of you. Go on click on the link and check it out.
- If any part of the vegetable or fruit cannot be consumed then turn it into compost.
Options are endless, one just has to put on the thinking cap.
What Innovative way did my fellow bloggers use kitchen waste?
- Narmadha used ridge gourd peel to make Peerkangai Thol Chutney
- Sujata used beet greens to prepare a side dish, Beetroot Greens with Beetroot and Potato
- Sasmita added the pods of peas and cauliflower stalks to make a delicious side dish, Green Peas & Cauliflower Stem Fry
- I loved Kalyani’s idea of using vegetables peels and stalks to make a vegetable stock.
- Preethi used the whole bottle gourd(lauki, doodhi) , peels and seeds too to make Bottle Gourd Chutney
- Archana used cauliflower stalks with the leaves to make Gobi ke Dental ki Sabzi – a side dish.
What did I use for this theme?
I decided to experiment with watermelon rind. The idea came when I had come across Mireille’s recipe using the white rind to cook up a delish looking Watermelon Kheer. The idea of using watermelon was stuck in my head ever since. This week’s theme gave the opportunity to put that idea into action. Hubby and I didn’t want anything sweet so came up with the idea of using the white rind along with other ingredients to create a healthy, nutritious and refreshing salad.
FoodieMonday is a group of 12 enthusiastic food blogger who prepare a dish for every Monday based on a chosen theme. This group allows each one of us to come out from our comfort zone to explore new cuisines and new dishes according to the themes suggested.
How does Watermelon Rind taste?
A small chopped piece of watermelon rind was sampled first to see if its chewable. And voilà, a healthy salad was born. Yes, before we forget about the taste..white rind of watermelon is tasteless. It is believed that the white part has a high content of citrulline. Its an amino acid naturally present in the rind which not only helps in protein building in our body but also opens ups veins and arteries for good blood flow and reduces blood pressure. And don’t forget that its high in dietary fibre.
Watermelon Rind Salad
While we all love the nice juicy and sweet red part of the watermelon, not much attention is paid to the white part. There was a time when I use to remove the white part and the seeds too when making watermelon juice at home. No more… they both provide the vital dietary fibre which we need for good digestion and healthy bowel system. The idea of salad came about when I had read in an inflight magazine that watermelon rind is used not only for making candy (cook it in sugar syrup) but also to make coleslaw. . To acquire the balance of taste, I used a few red watermelon pieces along with cucumber, carrot and tomato. Served with Watermelon Zaatar Dressing… its an awesome salad. Leftover white rind is in the fridge so that I can make the salad again.
I served the salad without telling him what I had put in it. After a few spoonfuls he picks up a small piece of the rind and asked,” What vegetable is this?” Me: ” It’s the white part of the watermelon.” Hubby was left speechless!
- Gluten Free
WATERMELON RIND SALAD
1 cup finely chopped watermelon rind (peel the green part using a peeler)
½ cup finely chopped watermelon along with the seeds (red part)
¼ cup finely chopped cucumber (leave the peel if its not tough)
½ cup finely chopped carrot (leave the peel if its tender)
½ cup finely chopped tomato
¼ cup pine nuts or nuts of your choice
8-10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Dressing of your choice
- Mix all the ingredients and serve with your favorite dressing.
- If you feel that the chopped rind might be difficult to chew then grate it.
- Add vegetables of your choice, I added what I had at home.
- Serve with a dressing of your choice or simply add salt, pepper and drizzle some lemon juice.
- I will henceforth be using watermelon rind to add in theplas, make chutney and have to try out a curry.
- The proportions used is just a rough guideline. Use whichever ingredients you like in a less or more proportion.
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