Zucchini Coming Out of Your Ears, Part 1


If there is one poor bastard vegetable of the garden, it is the overgrown zucchini. You know what we are talking about. A well intended family member or neighbor arrives at your door bearing a two pound zucchini and wants to know “Can you do something with this?” Flavoristas are not afraid of a few overgrown zucchini.

Last year, Kimberly happened upon this zucchini recipe while watching Martha Stewart. Knowing the amazing reputation of Zuni Café, this recipe was a must try. These pickles have become a staple at Casa Mayone both at the dinner table and for entertaining. Essentially a bread and butter formulation, these pickles are crunchy, sweet and tangy. So, when life gives you zucchini, make pickles.

If pickles just aren’t for you, keep in mind that grilled zucchini is a simple but good way to serve up the abundant green cylinders. Marinate cut zucchini in your favorite vinaigrette dressing and grill until well marked and crisp/tender. Grilled zucchini is excellent served off the grill or served at room temperature.

Judy’s Zucchini Pickles

Makes about 2 pints.
• 1 pound zucchini, washed, trimmed, and very thinly sliced
• 1 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
• 2 cups apple-cider vinegar
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
• 1 1/2 teaspoons slightly crushed yellow mustard seeds
• Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Combine zucchini and onion in a large shallow bowl. Add salt; toss to combine. Add a few ice cubes and enough cold water to cover, stirring until salt dissolves. Let stand, at room temperature, until zucchini are slightly salty and softened, about 1 hour.
2. Drain, removing any remaining ice cubes. Dry thoroughly between two towels, or spin, a few handfuls at a time, in a salad spinner (excess water will thin the flavor and spoil the pickle). Rinse and dry the bowl. Return the zucchini and onion to the dry bowl.
3. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds, and turmeric, over medium heat; simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand until just warm to the touch.
4. Pour the cooled brine over the zucchini-and-onion mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer to sterilized jars. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before serving. Will keep for about 3 months, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

If you really love these pickles as much as we do, you might want to check out other Judy Rodgers’ recipes in The Zuni Café Cookbook. Her technique for roasted chicken is easily one of Barr’s favorites and is absolutely worth the effort


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