Does your mouth water when you pass by the pickle section in the grocery store? Just wondering, because mine does. Every time. And I’ve always wondered if the same thing happens to anyone else. Sometimes if I see someone I know down the aisle, I’ll have to look away from the pickles, for fear that I’ll drool all over myself as I’m saying hi.
Ooo sorry – I just realized what an inappropriate visual and intro that is to a post about a truly delicious food item. I just really happen to love pickles, or anything pickled for that matter. One of these days I’m going to get over my fear of canning vegetables and getting (or giving someone else) botulism, and I’m truly going to learn how to make real pickles that can sit in the pantry until I eat them one day in the middle of winter.
For right now though, I’m sticking to refrigerator pickles. They’re unbelieveably quick to make, and since they aren’t meant to sit around on a shelf forever, you don’t have to follow any super-exact recipes and processing times, or anything. In short, you can be far more creative with your recipes, and that’s more my style.
I adapted this recipe just a bit from my Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Relish, which is also mouth-wateringly delicious, and perfect for sandwiches or veggie burgers. I was really feeling like sliced pickles though, and I thought some pickled thin sliced onions would be a nice touch too.
Zucchini pickles taste pretty much like cucumber pickles, but I think they hold up better and have just a little bit more crunch. Oh crap, my mouth is watering again, just talking about them.
Do you love the bright yellow color of these pickles? It’s from turmeric. The super-spice that’s making news all over the place for it’s cancer-fighting, brain-boosting, ant-inflammatory properties.
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or to taste
- 4 medium zucchini washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/2 large sweet onion sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic slightly smashed
In a large saucepan, mix together vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric, dry mustard, nutmeg and hot pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
While vinegar is simmering, layer vegetables and garlic cloves in an 2 quart jar (or 4 pint-sized jars).
Using a large funnel, carefully pour the hot vinegar solution over the vegetables. Cover tightly, and let the jar(s) cool to room temperature.
Transfer pickles to the refrigerator for 24 hours. Store for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
Instead of boiling the vinegar solution in a pot and fumbling with a funnel, I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup and boil it in the microwave.
Do you make you own pickles? If you want to experiment a bit more, this is a good resource on Homemade Pickles and Relishes from the University of Wisconsin