Wednesday, September 9, 2009

zucchini refrigerator pickles

Like probably just about everyone who plants zucchini, at some point I begin looking about for new uses. It occurred to me that they'd probably make fine refrigerator pickles -- perhaps not quite as crisp as cucumbers, but good enough. There are plenty of recipes online, but I went with an LA Times article containing the Zuni Café recipe.

I roughly tripled the recipe, using a few pounds of zucchini.

I decided to slice them about 3/16 inch thick instead of 1/8 in order to give them a little more crunch.

About a third of the vinegar was red wine rather than cider (ran out). I neglected to crush the mustard seeds, using that portion whole, but freshly ground the rest of it.

This quantity of brine takes some time to cool, so I got it started while the zucchini was in the salt water. It was ready at the same time as the zucchini. I didn't quite get the point of the "pat dry" step so in a fit of madness I simply added the brine to the drained squash.

The taste test the next day met with universal approval. I actually found a slight bitterness that I'd prefer weren't present, probably from the turmeric. The turmeric does impart that great color, but perhaps it could be dialed down a bit. The onions are really good -- I'd slice them thick next time so they are more substantial.

Overall, well worth the effort. Next time I'd look for ways to increase the complexity of the flavors, reduce the bitterness, and include more and thicker onion slices.

1 comment:

Jane S Poole said...

I think I'll try this, although we're not overloaded with zucchini. When the boys were here I made watermelon pickle. They said they had never had it and the watermelon we ate had a particularly thick rind. Our one large jar of them still sits in the fridge. I hardly ever think to serve them. With as much honey as is in them, I should serve them for dessert!