Happy National Zucchini Day! It goes without saying, that I’ve eaten a lot of zucchini this summer; I wanted to find a new way to prepare it.
Fortunately, a recipe for pickled zucchini was recently posted on the 101 Cookbooks site, and it just sounded so good! The resulting pickles are better than I ever expected, too – perfectly balanced flavors of tang and sweet (and a little spicy) and zucchini that is still crunchy. I am in love with these pickles!
Basically, the pickles start as thin sliced zucchini, onions, and shallots that are salted to pull out excess moisture, then flavored with two kinds of vinegar, a little sugar, with dill, hot peppers, and mustard seeds added to the mix. I made a few adjustments to the original recipe and I’m ecstatic with the results!
These pickles are delicious by themselves, with eggs, on toast with goat cheese, and even on hot dogs. I ordered some dogs via my CSA – beef franks made with pastured beef without nitrites – and these pickles were fantastic on them! They elevated what is an excellent hot dog to something even more special.
The hardest part of this recipe, I must admit, is waiting for the zucchini to drain. I chose to let it drain for 24 hours, so get as much moisture out as possible. The original recipe indicates a few hours, but I love the result I got from draining them for longer. When it’s time to put them together with the vinegars and seasonings, it takes less than 10 minutes to combine everything.
My guess is that if you like (vinegared) pickles, you’ll love these.
Adapted from the recipe at 101 Cookbooks.
1 pound of zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1/8 inch)
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
1 small fresh chile pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice
Toss the zucchini, onion, shallots, and salt together in a colander and place over a bowl to catch the liquids. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. Toss once or twice along the way. The point of this is to leech out as much liquid from the vegetables as you can.
When the zucchini has drained, shake off any water to make it as dry as possible. Place in a 1 quart jar along with the dill, chile pepper, and mustard seeds.
Combine the vinegars and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and continue to boil for a few minutes. Pour the liquid over the zucchini and seal the jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. The pickles are good for a week or so.
Makes one large jar.
thanks to: http://harmoniousbelly.com/2010/09/perfect-zucchini-pickles/