Sunday, July 13, 2014
The Waiting Game
This summer I have wisely enrolled in just one CSA. After last summer's debacle, I learned my lesson. No one, and I mean no one, needs four heads of cabbage in one week. I don't care how much you like cabbage, there's a limit to how much a person's digestive system can handle.
We are currently in the midst of a zucchini and cucumber blitz. Last week, my CSA generously provided me with five gigantic zucchini and a bunch of adorable cucumbers. (Really, the cucumbers were the cutest little shape.) What to do, what to do?
The obvious choice for at least some of the zucchini is zucchini bread. And grilled zucchini. But what about pickled zucchini, kind of like pickled cucumbers but with zucchini?
Well, it's all good news because there are a plethora of pickled zucchini recipes out there so it appears that pickled zucchini is a thing. The other good news is that I had everything needed right there in my refrigerator and in my pantry. Score one for me.
This recipe was quick and easy, but alas I cannot tell you how delicious my pickled zucchini spears are. For that, we will have to wait a week or two or three. But good things come to those who wait.
Recipe: Zucchini Dill Pickles
Makes 2 quarts
2 pounds small zucchini (preferably about 4" or 8" long), trimmed
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt or pickling salt, divided
12 fresh dill sprigs
2 teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
4 garlic cloves, halved
4 red jalapeños or Fresno chiles, split lengthwise
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
If using 4" zucchini, halve lengthwise. If using 8" zucchini, halve crosswise, then quarter lengthwise. Place in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 4 cups ice. Add cold water to cover. Top with a plate to keep submerged. Let sit for 2 hours. Drain; rinse.
Divide dill sprigs and next 6 ingredients between 2 clean, hot 1-quart jars; set aside.
Bring vinegar, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until khaki in color and slightly pliable, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer zucchini to jars.
Divide hot syrup between jars to cover zucchini, leaving 1/2" space on top. Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow at least a week to pickle before eating.
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