Pickled melons

December 3, 2019

Make the most of the season’s best produce by pickling and fermenting it in a selection of sweet and savoury recipes that are sure to add bursts of flavour and colour to any meal.

Recipe and styling by Sarah Dall

Photograph by Myburgh du Plessis

Pickled melons

Serves: Makes 2 large jars
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins + 1 week, to pickle


  • ¼ watermelon
  • 1 spanspek melon
  • 330g white sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 125ml (½ cup) vinegar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp fine salt



Using a melon baller, scoop out 300g watermelon. Place the balls in a large bowl. Repeat with the spanspek melon. Set aside until needed.


Place the sugar, water, vinegar and chilli flakes along with the vanilla-pod and star anise halves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring the mixture continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse, about 1 hour. Stir in the salt. Return to heat until the mixture is warm throughout.


Divide the fruit balls between 2 large sterilised glass jars with lids. Pour over the warm pickling liquid. Seal and set aside to pickle in a cool, dry place for 1 week.


Enjoy as part of a cheeseboard comprising grapes, Brie, goat’s cheese and crackers. Store any leftovers in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

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