Monday, August 10, 2009

As we continue along the squash highway: Zucchini Pickles

Zucchini Pickles: Tangy!
I read all kinds of crazy canning stuff on the interwebz. Pumpkin pickles, watermelon rind pickles, canning a whole chicken. ((shiver)) But you need to hear me out when it comes to my latest food preservation expedition: pickled zucchinis.

I've had these as relish on a few plates this past year, alongside the fantastic burger at Higgins bar, and I'm pretty sure they serve them on the side at Pause as well. But here's how you know they're really good: I'm not a pickle fan.

I know.

I'm just not. But when it comes to these zucchini pickles? I can't get enough of them. Super delicious. So I set out googling around for a good recipe, and alas, I did not find one I wanted to use that was for canning and keeping longer term, but I found one with just the right spices and I keep the jar in the fridge.

Plus, hello. There's only so much zucchini you can grill. It was time to pickle it! So simple, and so tangy. Just be careful where you slosh that turmeric juice around: it's bright yellow. The recipe I used is from the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 2 quart jars. One for us, one for a friend. I'm sure I'll make more as the zucchini season marches on. You should too.
Zucchini pickles in the jar

Zucchini Pickles
1 pound zucchini
1 small yellow onion
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed yellow and/or brown mustard seeds
Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Wash and trim the zucchini, then slice them one-sixteenth-inch thick; a mandoline works best. Slice the onion very thin as well. Combine the zucchini and onions in a large but shallow nonreactive bowl, add the salt and toss to distribute. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt.

2. After about 1 hour, taste and feel a piece of zucchini -- it should be slightly softened. Drain and pat dry.

3. Combine the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. (If the brine is too hot, it will cook the vegetables and make the pickles soft instead of crisp.)

4. Return the zucchini to a dry bowl and pour over the cooled brine. Stir to distribute the spices. Transfer the pickle to jars. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least a day before serving to allow the flavors to mellow and permeate the zucchini, turning them a brilliant chartreuse color.

12 comments:

elizabethlacy said...

This looks and sounds delicious! I'm hoping we'll get enough zucchini from the CSA this week to make it. Thanks for sharing!

rodger said...

These are one of my favorite reasons to go to Pause. They're delicious stacked on their fresh ground burger. Mmmmm mmmm.

TP said...

Mmmmm! So good. I found a similar recipe in the Jimtown Store cookbook, tho theirs had celery seed and fennel too. Been pickling like crazy! Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

I saw this recipe but wanted to put some zucchini pickles up, so I found a nice recipe for bread-and-butter zucchini pickles and made 4 pints this weekend. The recipe called for celery seed which I didn't have so I put in caraway seeds. I think they are going to be great!

Eva said...

I don't like pickles either. Except for watermelon (rind) pickles and pickled pepperoncini. I hear pickled green beans are good, but I have yet to try them. Zucchini pickles, huh? I'll have to consider it.

cat said...

thanks for the recipe sis! i am not a pickle fan either so if i can get a good squash crop someday again, i'll have to try these...:)

love you!

Heather said...

Oooh. I'm going to bookmark this! Now if my garden produces more than one zucchini this summer I'll be set. (Yes, I'm still a newbie at this - so far I've only harvested one zucchini. I must be the only person in the world to have this problem.)

Will Radik said...

We always have extra zucchini. I think we'll try this this year.

Marilyn said...

I tried this last week and we love them! I substituted a sweet onion for the yellow and added thinly sliced orange bell peppers for added color. They taste as good as they look!

Taylor said...

I think you may be my new hero, as you have given me something to do with my zucchini other than huck it into the compost pile once my fridge (and counters, and porch) are overflowing with the delicious little buggers! Can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

Confirmed Newbie here...how long will these fridge zucchini pickels keep in the fridge?

This is an awesome find BTW...I went searching on the internet for zucchini pickles immediately after eating at Pause!

ricki 'sprig to twig' said...

Dog-gone...now I am wishing I had planted some zucchini. Probably not too hard to bum some from fellow gardeners(?)