8.12.2007

I Love Zucchini #3 and a Keeper From the Recipe Box: Zucchini Sweet Pickles

After I posted the last zucchini recipe I heard from Dawn, a friend of mine since we were in elementary school. The post reminded her of when her mother was challenged to create different ways to cook zucchini. Dawn was not a lover of squash, but she loved her mother's recipe for Zucchini Sweet Pickles. She sent me the recipe and having just made them I can see why Dawn likes these pickles. They are delicious and the recipe also uses lots of zucchini! This was my first experience making sweet pickles. I am eager for the final taste test by Dawn next week. The recipe is not hard, but you have to plan on being home a few days. There is setting to be done, but it was worth it.
Zucchini Sweet Pickles

Day 1:
Make the syrup:
4 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 T. pickling salt
8 cups sugar
3 T. pickling spices in bag ( double cheesecloth)
4 drops green food coloring

Simmer about ten minutes. Let set 24 hours.
Next take about 5 quarts ( 9-10 pounds) of peeled zucchini, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes.
Add:
1 gallon water mixed with 1 cup of pickling lime*( see note below)
Let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Day 2:
Pour lime water off zucchini. Rinse with running cold water 10 minutes. Let stand in fresh cold water 3 hours. Drain well. Pour syrup over squash. Let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Day 3:
Drain off syrup into a large pot and bring to a boil. Add zucchini and cook until tender ( about 25 minutes*). Test with a toothpick. Don't overcook. Pack into pint canning jars and put in hot water bath in canner for 10 minutes to seal jars. Yield: about 8 pints. Pickles will taste better if stored a few weeks before opening.
This pickle maker's notes:

-I didn't peel all the zucchini as you see in the picture thinking it would add color to the jars. It didn't work well. I think they need to all be peeled.

-I found some new stuff to use instead of pickling lime. It is put out by Ball and is called Pickle Crisp. In using it you don't have to do all the rinsing... directions are included. I found it with canning supplies at the store.

-I had some big cucumbers and added them to the mix. I didn't peel them.

-I only cooked the zucchini about ten minutes and that seemed almost too long. My zucchini was big and soft when I started. Use your own judgement on this!

8 comments :

  1. I'm going to hang onto your instructions for the pickles -- they look delish and Sweet Baboo always plants enough Zucchini for the whole neighborhood. I can hear doors slamming up and down the street when I go out the door with my basket full of zucchini!! And I just love sweet pickles!! (BTW, SB and I have been sitting outside watching for meteors -- tonight is supposed to be the peak!!)

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  2. I've made a lot of things with zucchini, but not pickles. Unfortunately, Ross doesn't eat them, and I don't eat enough to make them just for me.
    They sound good though.
    I have a great zucchini bread recipe that I modified to make it more moist. It's a big hit with the family. I also make a zucchini chocolate cake like yours. Delicious!
    We like it sautéed in olive oil, with garlic. I also love it just cooked in a little water, with salt, pepper and butter. I love the mild flavor!

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  3. I used to make a few rounds of relish ... but I've gotten zucchini lazy.

    I'd eat the pickles if offered, however (:

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  4. Yum. The Hunk will probably fry and eat the zucchini faster than I can pickle it. But I will keep the recipe for future reference.

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  5. I've never heard of zucchini pickles - now I want some :)

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  6. IEG - sounds like a lot of work, but delicious. I have a new recipe for a zucchini casserole I want to try. It's a versatile veggie, isn't it?

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  7. Thanks for all your comments. I liked this recipe so much I made a second batch last night. I am eager for my friend to do the taste test later this week.

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  8. They look delicious. I have a jar of pickling lime in my pantry, so I will have to try this as soon as my zucchini crop achieves its peak.

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