Bread-and-Butter Zucchini Pickles

IMG_3032Makes 2 quarts of 4 pints

Tart and sour tastes have always appealed to me more than bitters. So it’s no surprise that I was blown away by these pickles from Hugh Acheson’s latest book: Broad Fork. These pickles are not your run-of-the-mill kind, in fact, they are based on zucchini, or summer squash, which is often abundant if you grow it in your garden. And the recipe is super fast to make and super delicious to eat. Hope you give them a try.

3 cups small zucchini
1 medium sweet onion, Vidalia if possible
1 1/2 Tbsp pickling salt
1/4 cup fresh celery leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
4 allspice berries
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Slice the zucchini in 1/4 thick disks and place them in a large bowl.
Slice onions lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips. Add onion to the squash and sprinkle with half the pickling salt. Toss well and let sit for approximately 1 hour.
Rinse zucchini and onions well under running water to remove the salt. Drain.
Place into non-reactive bowl and add celery leaves that have been teared into smaller pieces.
Using 2 clean 1-quart jars (or 4 pint jars), pack the zucchini mixture into the jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ingredients including the rest of the pickling salt, red pepper flakes, curry powder, fennel and mustard seeds, berries, vinegar and sugar as well as 1 cup of water into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes for the flavors to come together.
Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving at least 1/4 inch of headspace. Cap with lids and bands and let cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
The jars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or canned according to the jar manufacturer’s directions and stored for up to 9 months.