Zucchini. I love zucchini. It’s a fun word to say, and even fun to type out. Zucchini.They are one of the many reasons I cannot wait to have a house with a real honest to goodness garden. In a good year, a couple of plants can produce more zucchini than any sane person would know what to do with. Did you know there’s even a “Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”? Yep, it was yesterday, August 8th. Sadly, no one gave me any zucchini. I guess I’ll just have to go to the market and buy my own. It’s okay… I forgive you.
Zucchini is a versatile plant, you can make zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, and even zucchini ribbon pasta. It can be grilled, roasted, sauteed, and as it turns out it pickles quite well. I decided to try a zucchini replacement for bread and butter pickles partly for cost purposes. Currently zucchini are less than $1/lb, while pickling cukes are hovering around $2. The other reason is that we’re about to finish off our last jar of bread & butters from last fall. Pickles are an important sandwich staple in our house, never let it be said I let us run out of pickles!
I’d read about using zucchini to make pickles before, so I knew it could be done. I figured why not take a chance and do my favorite thing and try a new idea? Well, I’m glad that I did, because I do believe that these turned out quite well. The zucchini actually holds up quite well to the pickling process. The turmeric in the recipe helps to turn the white flesh into something a little more… well, pickle looking.The flavor is good, and not too sweet like bread & butter pickles can be some times.
If you have a mandolin, use it. If you don’t have one, I would suggest getting one. It is so nice to have on hand and makes slicing a load of veggies quick and easy, plus they’ll all be the same thickness. When using a mandolin for the zucchini, cut off the blossom end first, and leave the stem to use as a handle when the piece gets small so you don’t end up slicing your finger tips off. Trust me, lesson learned.
While these won’t replace my traditional bread & butters, they do make a nice interim replacement while I wait and hope cucumber prices will come down some. Give them a chance!
Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles
Makes 5 pints
- 4 pounds zucchini
- 1 large white onion (3/4 – 1 lb)
- 1/4 cup pickling salt (not table salt)
- 2 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon whole celery seed
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1) Slice zucchini about 1/4 inch thick. Slice white onion as well. Mix together in large bowl, sprinkling with pickling salt. Cover with ice and leave to rest for 2 hours.
2) Rinse and drain zucchini and onions, set aside.
3) Bring to boil vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, fennel seed, peppercorns, and turmeric. Add zucchini and onions and return to a boil. Let simmer 7-9 minutes, until zucchini rinds darken to a yellow-green.
4) Pack into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process using water bath method for 10 minutes. Let jars set for 3 weeks before opening to let the zucchini pickle, and flavors to mingle.