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Categories: Sauces and condiments, Vegetarian

Zuni Cafe zucchini pickles

Zuni Cafe zucchini pickles
Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Where have all the pickles gone? It wasn't so long ago that every well-dressed American dinner table was bejeweled with an assortment of them -- emerald green tomatoes, ruby red beets and opalescent pearl onions, as well as less glamorous ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes, plus marinating and pickling time | Makes 3 cups
Note: Adapted from Judy Rodgers' "The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.".
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed yellow and/or brown mustard seeds
  • Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Step 1Wash and trim the zucchini, then slice them one-sixteenth-inch thick; a mandoline works best. Slice the onion very thin as well. Combine the zucchini and onions in a large but shallow nonreactive bowl, add the salt and toss to distribute. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt. Alternatively, transfer the salted zucchini and onion slices to a Japanese pickle maker and screw down the top; do not add any water or ice cubes.

Step 2After about 1 hour, taste and feel a piece of zucchini -- it should be slightly softened. Drain and pat dry.

Step 3Combine the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. (If the brine is too hot, it will cook the vegetables and make the pickles soft instead of crisp.)

Step 4Return the zucchini to a dry bowl and pour over the cooled brine. Stir to distribute the spices. Transfer the pickle to jars, preferably ones that have "shoulders" to hold the zucchini and onions beneath the surface of the brine. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least a day before serving to allow the flavors to mellow and permeate the zucchini, turning them a brilliant chartreuse color.

Each 1/4-cup serving:
27 calories; 0 protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 74 mg. sodium.
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