Zesty Zucchini Bread-and-Butter Pickles

(Recipe slightly adapted from “The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home” by Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman)

Pickling salt is basically fine-ground salt without any additives. Table salt is not a good substitute, as it will hamper the fermentation process. The only other option is Diamond Crystal Coarse Kosher Salt, which is more difficult to find than regular pickling salt.

Pickling spice is actually a combination of spices such as bay leaves, chilies, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, black pepper, mace and cardamom. You can make your own or choose from many premade options. I used Penzeys Pickling Salt from Penzeys in downtown Maplewood. Supermarkets will have at least one brand.

Ingredients

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2 pounds small to medium-size zucchini (save the larger zuc

   chini for a bread), ends trimmed, and sliced 1/8” thick

1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

2 tsp. pickling salt

2 cups apple cider vinegar (not apple flavored vinegar)

1¼  cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp. yellow or brown mustard seeds

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. pickling spice

½ to ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 quart-size, or 3-4 pint-size, canning jars, with lids

Directions

Combine sliced zucchini and onion in a colander. Sprinkle with pickling salt and use your hands to evenly distribute. Set a bowl under colander and, uncovered, into the refrigerator for at least four  hours and up to a day. Drain liquid and place vegetables on a double layer of paper towels; pat dry. (Do not rinse vegetables.)

Combine remaining ingredients together in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil.

Add vegetables, stir and remove pan from heat. Let rest 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, divide vegetables among clean jars. Ladle warm brine over vegetables to cover. Screw lids onto jars and let them reach room temperature.

Transfer jars to refrigerator and store there for up to 1 month.