When we have a glut of a particular fruit or vegetable, we try to find creative ways to use it up or preserve it for later, and making these zucchini pickles is our favorite way to preserve extra summer zucchini. These refrigerator pickles require no processing, you just pack the prepared zucchini slices and onions into jars and add the slightly warm brine. After just 24 hours in the refrigerator, they are ready to enjoy, it could hardly be easier. Because they aren’t cooked, these zucchini pickles retain their crispy crunch, and the simple brine adds lots of flavor. For Michael it took just one taste and he announced that he was forever ruined and would never truly enjoy pickles from the store again.
For best results, make sure to use very fresh firm zucchini.
- large shallow bowl
- small saucepan
- salad spinner (or tea towels)
- 2 pint jars with lids
- wide mouth funnel
- 1 pound zucchini squash (thinly sliced)
- 1 small yellow onion (peeled and sliced)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Place the zucchini and onions slices in the large bowl, add the salt, and toss to distribute. Add a few cubes of ice and enough cold water to cover. Stir to dissolve the salt, and allow to soak for about 1 hour.
- After the 1 hour soak, taste and feel a piece of the zucchini. It should be softened and taste faintly salty. Drain well, and spin a few handfuls at a time in a salad spinner, or drain on towels.
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds, and turmeric in the small saucepan and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm to the touch. The brine should not be too warm, or it will cook the vegetables and make them soft.
- Pack the zucchini and onions into the two pint jars, then ladle the brine over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely.
I'd give a blue ribbon to pickled just-about-everything. And what a great way to sneak in some raw vegetables. I've been brining chicken breasts for a couple hours a lot lately before grilling to keep them tender. This recipe looks to have a similar, perfectly balanced salty-sweet combination. Looking forward to a day o' brine.
I wonder if this would work with very young summer squash... sometimes, you pick a squash that hasn't 'lightened' up, yet, but you don't want to discard it... thing I'm gonna try this and let you know the result... thanks for the recipe...
This looks beautiful and fun to try! Love your photos. I hope you will submit this to http://www.FindingVegan.com ~Kathy
These look so good! Great summer recipe!
Can you use a similar process if you want to pickle the whole zucchini? Thinking of picking some when they are 'pickle size' and making whole, not sliced, pickles. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Terry. I've never done this recipe with whole zucchini, but if I had to guess, I would say to allow more time in the jars before eating.
Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine says
I'm addicted to Pickled Okra - I buy it at the grocery store a Texas brand with a red star on it - do you have a recipe you like?
Hi Kathy! I've never made pickled okra, but this is our second year growing okra and it's on my to do list. I'll post our recipe soon!