Refrigerator zucchini pickles ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

09 July 2015

Refrigerator zucchini pickles

Refrigerator zucchini pickles

Yay! It's summer squash season! Yes, that magical time of year in which suddenly everyone you know is trying to foist bagfuls of zucchini, pattypans, and yellow squash onto their friends and neighbors at the slightest provocation. If you're growing your own, the situation is even worse. Suddenly, YOU are the one wandering into the backyard to find that an apparently bare plant has somehow sprouted six fully grown squash -- and you have four more plants to check -- and there were already several zucchini in your crisper.

Now is the time to use up that squash any way you can. I like to slice up a few squash for a simple saute with garlic and olive oil, or to cube them and scramble them with eggs and a big handful of herbs. But when those strategies fail, it's time to go a step further and think about preserves.

The classic method of summer squash preservation is a simple shred and freeze. This works out very well if you are the kind of person who will eat zucchini bread for months on end. But I decided it was time to try something different, and that thing was pickled zucchini.

This is a very simple and delightful refrigerator pickle. There is a surprising hint of mustard taste in the finished product, which means that these go very well on sandwiches of all kinds. A jar of these is definitely a great way to get through some of a massive summer zucchini harvest -- or, in my case, the seven or eight zucchini at a time that have been arriving at frequent intervals via CSA box.

Refrigerator zucchini pickles

1 pint mason jar, washed and dried
4 medium zucchini or summer squash (~2 cups sliced)
1 halved garlic clove
1/2 tsp dried dill
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp peppercorns
1 tbsp pickling salt or kosher salt
optional canning funnel

Wash your zucchini and slice them into rounds or spears. I chose rounds for easy sandwich application. Leave them raw.

Put your garlic clove and dill into your jar. Add your zucchini. You may have to shift the pieces around a bit to fit them all in there.

In a small saucepan, heat your vinegar, water, peppercorns, and salt. Put on the lid and simmer for about five minutes, or until the salt has completely dissolved.

Pour your hot brine into your jar, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Use a chopstick or spatula to release any air bubbles, and top up with more brine as needed. Make sure you get all the peppercorns into the jar, even if you have extra liquid left over.

Lid your jar and put it into the refrigerator. Let your pickles cure for at least 24 hours before eating them.

Now it's time for voluminous sandwiches of all kinds. Pickles for every lunch! Hooray!

How do you use up the yearly summertime zucchini glut?


Sippity Sup said...

I pickled up some whole baby zucchini for the first time ever and the results were fantastic. I''' try it again with bigger sliced veggies and add the hint of mustard you mentioned. GREG

Michelle said...

Mustard + pickles are two of my most favorite things ever. I love that you pickle (nearly) everything. The first time I'd heard of zucchini pickles was on that not-quite-a-Cuban sandwich I made. I reeeeeeeeeally wish I would have made them, but alas I am lazy.

Eileen said...

I actually didn't add any mustard at all -- I think it was the squash itself! I used a romanesco, with lighter green ridges running the length of the fruit. But in the future I do want to add some mustard seed for a more pronounced taste.

foodfeud said...

I never would have thought to make pickles out of zucchini too, but that's brilliant! I love love all kinds of pickled vegetables.

foodfeud said...

I never would have thought to make pickles out of zucchini too, but that's brilliant! I love love all kinds of pickled vegetables.

Joanne said...

I suspect we'll be getting loads of zucchini from the CSA this zucchini pickles will definitely be in order!