Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles
This past spring, my father-in-law planned and planted a huge garden in his backyard and he’s been reaping the benefits all summer long. Each week, he brings us an assortment of fresh produce that he’s picked and, like any garden, he always has an abundance of zucchini to share. I have been using them for some simple roasted side dishes, but I wanted to try something a little different with this week’s zucchini. I wasn’t in the mood for zucchini bread, so I went searching for some ideas and stumbled upon a recipe for zucchini pickles. Even better – they are refrigerator pickles, which means they are quick, easy and incredibly tasty.
I have always preferred bread and butter pickles over dill pickles when putting them on a sandwich or hamburger; the combination of sweet and tangy is amazing and it can turn the most boring turkey sandwich into something worth savoring. So I was thrilled when I saw that these zucchini pickles were a riff on the classic bread and butter flavors.
The zucchini pickles turn a fantastic shade of yellow in the spice mixture and look absolutely gorgeous floating in a glass jar. The crushed red pepper flakes are optional, but if you like some heat, I would definitely include them. You can use these zucchini pickles anywhere you would typically put regular pickles – sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs… anywhere!
If you have zucchini coming out of your ears this summer and are tired of making zucchini bread, these pickles are an awesome choice!
One year ago: Pretzel, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Malted Milkshake
Two years ago: Apricot Cream Cheese Babka
Four years ago: Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread
Five years ago: Salted Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles
- ½ cup (125 ml) water, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium zucchini, about 1 pound, sliced ⅛-inch thick
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced ⅛-inch thick
- 3 ice cubes
- 2 cups (478 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground mustard
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) mustard seed
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) turmeric
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) crushed red pepper flakes, optional - adds some heat!
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and kosher salt until the salt has dissolved.
- Place the zucchini and onion into a gallon zipper freezer bag. Add the water and salt solution, the ice cubes, and additional cold water to cover the zucchini and onions. Stir to combine. Seal the bag and allow to sit for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustards, turmeric and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure that the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Drain the zucchini mixture in a colander and remove all excess moisture, either by putting it through a salad spinner or rolling it up in a clean kitchen towel lined with paper towels.
- Place the zucchini mixture in a large jar (or multiple smaller jars) and pour the pickling liquid over top, ensuring that all of the zucchini mixture is covered in liquid. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.