Zucchini with a tangy bite
Ahh. . .summer produce. I definitely am missing it in February, even when I am working in Arkansas where the days are warmer. Sure, there’s produce at the grocery store (no matter where I am), but it just isn’t the same as freshly and locally picked. Maybe pickling is even better now than in July or August. A little pickling liquid can improve the current produce offering quite substantially.
To learn more about this recipe, originally published in July 2015, keep reading.
Several summers ago, my husband and I decided to do some canning. It was a perfect summer hobby with young teens in our household. We were around most weekends, either hosting groups of friends or dropping kids off at other households hosting teens. What to do in between shuttling/supervising teens? Can local produce.
Then two years ago, my husband began coaching football at the local high school, which ate into our summer free-time. I could have canned on my own, but the thought of all of the work being done solo didn’t really thrill me. Bake, braise, cook on my own? Sure. Prep, fill jars, boil, check for sealing on my own? No thanks.
When zucchini became available locally within the past week or so, I thought about the canning we had done and remembered the pickled zucchini we made. What surprised me was that our now 17 year old, who didn’t like zucchini plain, absolutely adored the pickled version. So, I wondered, could I replicate that without the canning process? The answer to that, most delightfully, is yes.
The brine that I made for these pickles is quite simple. I wanted to incorporate the tang of vinegar, the bite of salt, and sweetness of sugar. However, if you want additional flavor, you absolutely can add garlic, dill, jalapenos, or whatever suits you. Be sure to let the zucchini hang out in the brine for at least 6 hours, but 24 hours would be ideal.
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tb. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepot.
- Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and widthwise. Cut each quarter into 3 spears.
- Transfer zucchini to a sealable container and top with brine.
- Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stir occasionally, if zucchini isn’t fully submerged.