Monday, July 24, 2006

Brining Zucchini Pickles

On Friday I started some brined zucchini pickles. I happened to stop at a local discount store and saw a lovely, large glass vase. Clear glass, with a sort of swirled pattern, about 18-20 inches tall, lovely shape, narrowing down to an opening still large enough for me to put my hand in. Hmmm, looked perfect for pickles! And only $5.00. Home it came. I cleaned it, then tried to decide how to use all the lovely zucchini.

I decided on spears, since the zucchini's were pretty good sized (say mostly 3-day zuke's). We chunked them into spears about 3.5 to 4 inches long, either quartering each section, or cutting it into 8ths, depending on how big they were. As I layered the spears into the jar I added a pickling mix that we had purchased. I'd just found out the day before that pickling mixes were initialy intended for brined pickles, and this was my chance to try this one out.

Mixed up brine and put it over the full jar. I then used some of the remainder in a sandwich baggie, double bagged, which I put on top to keep the new pickles under the brine. It started bubbling by the next day. The spears are reducing in size, I presume as the salt pulls the water out of the spears. They sure look good. They should be ready in about 2 weeks.


sharon k said...

Hi Shelley,
I wrote to you last year or was it the year before. I was looking over my bookmarks and saw that I had saved your snap pea pickle story. I had very successful snap pea pickles, brined. When I opened the jar it fizzed for a full 10 minutes! And they tasted great...sweet, sour and fizzy!
Anyway, I saw your post about zucchini pickles and your limited success with them. I have had a few failures but more fantastic successes. What I found is that they should be cut up in round slices at least 1/2 inch thick. It also seems to be very important to add some coarsely chopped onion into the mix as it keeps the squash crunchy. The onions taste great, too.

Since I last wrote to you I have designed and begun teaching a workshop I call "Food As Medicine". Feel free to check it out on my website:

One of the classes is lacto-fermented pickling, what you call brine pickling.

I will share some more pickling successes next time.

sharon k

Shelley McClanahan said...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the info about using zucchini when brining (so much shorter than lacto-fermented). I'll remember to put in the onions and not to cut the squash too small.

I love using zucchini instead of cucumbers in other pickled recipes and actually prefer them most of the time.

Thanks for the link. I'll check that out, and very much look forward to anything else you share!