Sunday, August 16, 2009

101 Things to do with a Zucchini, a many part series - Pickled Zucchini (Baby)

That's right, the Zucchini baby met her doom. The sad thing is, this pickling project didn't use up the whole thing! There's still a good chunk in the fridge.
So first you need good fresh firm zucchini. I used a recipe from Pick-it-your-self, though the same recipe is all over the internet, tried and true!

First I chopped up the zucchini. You want to have fairly uniform pieces for ease of packing in jars and for proper infusion of the brew.
I cored part of my zucchini as it was getting fairly thick seeds, but that shouldn't be a problem if you caught your zukes in the smaller stages.

Soak the zukes and onions in salted water for two hours. About a half hour before they are ready to drain start cooking the brew.
It's actually a fairly standard bread-and-butter recipe, and one could change the spices if you wish. But don't alter the vinegar/sugar/vegetable ratios!
Drain the veggies and add to the brew, simmer for five minutes. NOTE - if you hold your head over the pot to inhale the steam your nose hairs will curl. It smells like vinegar, quell that curiosity!

While boiling the mix I heated the jars in the same pot I'm going to pasturize in. Remember to heat and cool glass slowly! The funny holed item in the bottom is a canning lift. It keeps the jars off the floor of the floor of the pot and keeps them away from too intense a heat.

Fill the jars with the hot mix. Use a tool to shift things around and get more zukes in the jar. Be sure you leave a 1/2 inch headspace - that is room above the liquid and food. This is to prevent overflow while you are boiling the food in the jars I had some extra to I put it in the fridge to get eaten first, though the best flavor won't develop until after two weeks.

Arrange the jars in the pot and do the final processing. I did the pasturezation method which is good if you have a thermometer. Thirty minutes later and we have lovely pickled zucchini, waiting for the cold winter months when the summers bounty is gone. (looking at our stash of zucchini and yellow squash, about april) Now write your self a sealed letter to be opened at planting time reminding us not to plant so much zucchini!

No comments: