Anyone who has planted zucchini knows that it has a way of hitting its peak and producing far more zucchini than anyone can eat at one time. There are many ways to preserve extra zucchini, including making zucchini pickles.
Though the process is similar to making regular pickles, zucchini pickles have their own distinct flavor. The usually mild taste of the zucchini takes on a tangy edge when processed in brine, making for a tasty snack at peak season or any time of year.
Zucchini pickles are simple to make. To start, you will need the following equipment: pint canning jars with clean lids, a water bath canner, and jar tongs. You should also prepare a place to set the processed pickle jars where they can cool for at least twelve hours without being disturbed.
If you don’t have a water bath canner, you can improvise one with a large pot and a vegetable steamer or other type of rack. As long as the pot is deep enough to cover your jars with at least an inch of water as they process, and you have something to keep them elevated and separated, you’ll be able to preserve your pickles using the water bath method.
This recipe makes one pint jar of zucchini pickles. For more, simply multiply the ingredients to cover all of the zucchini you wish to preserve!
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/2-1 tsp pickling spice, depending on taste
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 large garlic clove, sliced
enough zucchini to pack the jar, cut into slices or spears
1) Get your water bath canner or pot ready. Fill it with enough water so that it will cover your jars at least an inch over the lids. Place it on the stove over high heat to get it boiling.
2) Thoroughly wash your jar and lid. Fill the jar with the zucchini slices or spears, making sure not to pack too tightly. Add the garlic and set aside.
3) In a non-metal pan, combine the water, vinegar, pickling spice, and salt. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Using a ceramic or otherwise coated pan for this step is important, as a metal pan can make your pickling mixture cloudy.
4) Pour the mixture over the jarred zucchini, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Put the lid on the jar, tightening just until your fingers meet resistance.
5) Use the jar tongs to carefully place your pickles in the canner. Process for 10-15 minutes, making sure to keep the water level up and the water boiling. When the time is up, remove the jar to a space where it won’t be disturbed and leave to cool for at least 12 hours.
6) Refrigerate and enjoy! Zucchini pickles don’t need to sit and cure like cucumber pickles do, so you can eat them the next day if you wish.
Zucchini pickles are a delicious and easy way to preserve zucchini for the coming winter. They can be enjoyed the same way as regular pickles, with the added satisfaction of knowing that you grew them and canned them yourself!