What a lovely vacation we had (and it’s not quite over)! Off to Fargo last Wednesday for a visit with my parents, who are always the most hospitable and charming hosts, we were treated like royalty. Wined (Pete was mostly beered) and dined, both at chez LaPalm and out on the town, we spent three relaxing, fun-filled days. In addition to all the fantastic food & beverage, we managed to get in a good run on a beautiful morning and a power walk the day the heat and humidity left us too sapped to run. Some shopping in vibrant downtown Fargo was fun, but we were disappointed that a few of the stores we wanted to check out most were still closed the day after the July 4th holiday.
We headed home on Saturday for a few more days of vacation, loaded up with leftovers from my parents, who are excellent cooks! Sunday morning was a Farmers’ Market jaunt for us—so nice to have Pete join me for a change. Each week there is more and more to be had at the market. The strawberries were unbelievably aromatic—you could smell their deliciousness even if you were nowhere close to one of the vendors. When we left, our bags were full: Mint & dill, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, three kinds of lettuce, sugar snap peas, both green and gold zucchini, and Yukon gold potatoes (not as tiny as my last visit).
Now comes the time to decide what yummy recipes to incorporate our bounty into. I’m typically not a big zucchini fan, but Pete is, so my wheels were spinning to come up with something zucchini-y we both would like. When I saw the beautiful dill, I said, “That zucchini’s gonna get pickled!”
Last summer I got hooked on radish pickles, and am still making them with stunning scarlet radishes from the market, but I’d never pickled zucchini.
I did a Google search and perused a bunch of recipes and pulled ideas from a few to come up with this. I made them yesterday and tasted some today—they are absolutely delicious, and will only continue to get better over time. According to the one of the recipes I pulled ideas from, they will keep for weeks in the fridge, but I doubt they will last long—they’re too good! And a jar of these pretty pickles would make a perfect hostess gift. Serve them on veggie burgers, tacos, salads, sandwiches, on crostini with crumbled cheese, or straight from the jar! Enjoy!
Green and Gold Zucchini Pickles
2 medium green zucchini
2 medium gold zucchini
½ large sweet onion
2 large shallots
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup aged white wine vinegar
½ cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, crushed using a mortar & pestle
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
A couple sprigs of dill weed per jar
Minced jalapeño pepper, ½ to 1 pepper per jar, seeded if you want to minimize heat (optional)
4 pint or 500 ml mason jars
Thinly slice the zucchini, onion and shallot. A mandolin makes for quick and easy work, plus the thickness of your slices will be consistent.
Toss the vegetables in a colander, mix them up and set colander over a bowl to catch liquid.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to drain for a couple hours or as long as overnight. Toss the veggies or shake the colander a couple times while they are draining. Transfer to a large bowl.
After your veggies have drained, make your brine: Place vinegars, sugar, salt, crushed mustard seeds, dry mustard, and turmeric in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil; continue boiling for several minutes. Set aside to cool until the brine no longer feels hot. Pour brine over zucchini, onion and shallots and stir to combine.
Place some minced jalapeño (if using) and a few dill sprigs in each Mason jar. Divide the brine/vegetable mixture evenly among the four jars. Wipe jars clean and screw the lids on tightly. Refrigerate for at least one day before serving. The pickles will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. Make 4 pint or 500 ml jars.