Quick Pickled Zucchini
I've been making these coin-shaped zucchini pickles all summer. They're quick to make, great to have on hand, and I don't bother canning them. Delicious on crusty, goat-cheese slathered grilled bread (or just about anything cheesy or crunchy) and simple salads.
Because we're still trying to put a dent in the zucchini supply, today's recipe? Quick pickled zucchini. It's great to have on hand, and allows you to flare out all sorts of things. We always take a jar camping, and a tangle is always great on a cheese plate or veg platter. They're really good on cheese-slathered crostini or thin garlic bread, see the photo down below! This is the time of year to keep a steady supply at the ready, and bonus points for making extra for friends.
Quick pickled zucchini is A+ on these veggie burgers, on certain tacos, and as part of simple green summer salads. I also like them in place of relish on veggie dogs. If you come up with other ideas for them, let me know.
The only thing that takes much time here is draining some of the liquid from the zucchini, if you plan ahead a bit, the rest of the process only takes a couple minutes. One thing to be mindful of is how thick your slicing is. It's the sort of detail that changes the preparation quite dramatically. You can see in the photos how thick I like my zucchini to be, but its a variable to play around with. Thicker slices will have more structure.
As far as flavor and seasoning go, this recipe delivers a bit of spicy bite from the mustard seeds and red chile, coupled with a hint of sweet, but not much. If you like a super-sweet pickle, double the sugar, and go from there. Same goes for the spiciness. Use this recipe as a jumping off point!
Have fun with the pickles, and if you still need more ideas, here’s where I’ve collected all my favorite zucchini recipes. Enjoy!
Quick Pickled Zucchini
There are quite a number of ways to play around with the personality of these pickles. Sometimes I shave the zucchini paper-thin, resulting in a whispy tangle of pickled zucchini and onions. Other times I want my pickles to have a bit more bite, structure, and definition. In those instances, I slice the zucchini thicker, perhaps 1/8-inch, and let them drain as long as possible, sometimes overnight refrigerated. Also worth noting, when I make them for our personal condiment stash, I used a brown natural cane sugar. It gives the pickle liquid a brownish cast that, quite frankly, weirds people out if they don't know what is causing it. So, if I'm making the pickles to bring to a BBQ or something, I'll make them with regular organic cane sugar - one that is lighter in color.
- 3 medium zucchini (1 pound / 16 oz / 450 g), thinly sliced
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 cup (small handful) fresh dill sprigs
- 1 small fresh red chile pepper, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup / 1.75 oz / 50g natural cane sugar
Toss the zucchini, onion, shallots, and salt together in a colander and place over a bowl to catch the liquids. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a couple hours. Toss once or twice along the way. You're aiming to get as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible. When you're finished draining the zucchini, shake off any water. At this point you want the zucchini as dry as possible. Place in a 1 liter / 1 quart jar along with the dill, chile pepper, and mustard seeds. Alternately, you can cram them into a 3/4 liter Weck jar like I do, but it's always a bit snug in the jar.
Combine the ciders and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and continue to boil for a few minutes. Pour the liquid over the zucchini and seal the jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. The pickles are good for a week or so.
Makes one large jar.
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I have zucchini coming out of my ears. Thank you Heidi for another recipe I can do with my over flowing zucchini stock. Anna
Lovely pickle and i'd love it in a sandwich .. The natural brown sugar version seems more like my type and a bit spicier too.... You know i keep recommending your recipes to people .
"Good for a week"? Ha! I have a similar recipe that goes directly into the freezer in the glass canning jars once it cools to room temp. Check the label on the box the jars come in - it says "freezer safe" And they are. That way I can extend the life of my zuke pickles & gift others with them. Freezer Canning is the way to go ; )
Here I've been sitting looking at PILES of zucchini - despairing what to do with it all! Along came this blog post.... perfect!
Thank you! Am looking forward to pickling the 3lb zucchini we've been growing this summer
I had fully intended to make some sort of pickle this year and never really did. For some reason, It scares me. I did make lots and lots of jam though!
I'm also wondering about changes that would allow for longer storage - any ideas? Thanks!
Love the freezer pickle idea in the comments up above. For those intimidated by canning.
Perfect for using up the last of my summer zucchini! Thanks!
I can definitely see the appeal of these wonderful little things on a tartine with fresh goat cheese or feta...A great way to reminisce about Summer!
These pickles sound like a wonderful alternative to the regular cucumber pickle. I love zucchini as it is, but pickled vegetables are even better. Thank you for the wonderful idea!
Oh I love pickles! Have not yet tried doing them myself though. Beautiful pics as usual. Thanks for the inspiration :)
This recipe sounds very good. I make dill pickles every year and do a Mexican pickled onion recipe. This year I am adding pickling jalapenos, sweet and savory. The pickled zuccs sound like it would be good on sandwiches and as a side accompaniment. Love your recipes.
Thanks. I'll make this and add it to the arsenal of zucchini dishes I've been making this summer.
The lack of a great summer is really one of the only things (that and The Great Lakes) (oh. and the one year I have left in school) that stop me from moving to the Bay Area. Did you know that every time I go there to visit family, I keep an eye out for you? :)
Beautiful picture with the bread!! I have one large zucchini that will be perfect for this recipe. I recently posted a comparison of two different types of zucchini bread on my own site. :)
Yes! I have a ton of zukes from my parents' garden that need to be used pronto. I will be making this this weekend.
I have 3 zucchini in the fridge that were looking for a recipe! Thanks for posting.
It's now clear to me that it's possible to pickle almost anything and it will taste good. I've been putting off buying some proper mason jars, but I think I'm going to cave this week. There are just too many ideas to try, and this one is now very high on my list! Yum.
Oh - this looks wonderful! A perfect, end of the summer treat!
Yummm!! This recipe looks so easy and really good. Have you ever tried making zucchini relish? It is much better then the regular pickle relish. Thanks for the recipe!