If you’re a gardener, you’re probably sick of zucchinis by now. Or if you’re friends with a gardener, you’re sick of waking up to find zucchinis on your front porch. I’ve been eating zukes and summer squash for a month and giving so many away that no one will take them anymore. And that’s from a small garden. I just wish my tomatoes would produce like that.
In my efforts to put up as many vegetables as possible each summer, I invariably come across a few new recipes. This particular one comes from Judy Rogers’s great The Zuni Café Cookbook, and delivers a sweet tang that’s a great accompaniment for a smoked backstrap, charred steak, or even pulled pork. I plunge most of my vegetables in a salty, ice-water both, which I find helps keep them firmer during the hot-water bath.
Sweet Zucchini Pickles
4-6 zucchini or summer squash, 6-8 inches long (about 1 lb.)
1 small yellow onion
2 tbs. kosher salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. crushed yellow and/or brown mustard seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1. Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut lengthwise into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Cut the onion in half around the pole axis, peel the outer skin, and cut crosswise into thin slices. Transfer the vegetables to a large, non-reactive bowl.
2. Dissolve the kosher salt in one quart of water and pour over vegetables. Add the ice to the bowl, and fill with enough water to cover. Let rest at least one hour.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until combined. Place over medium-high heat and simmer.
4. Drain and rinse the cucumbers-onion mix and pack into hot pint jars. Pour the liquid over the vegetables, screw on two-piece canning lids, and process in a hot-water bath according to the USDA-recommended times for your area.