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Appetizers, Sauces and Condiments

Quick pickled pumpkin

Quick pickled pumpkin
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

White wine vinegar, water, honey and spice. I was more than a little curious as I gently simmered the ingredients over the stove. The aroma, at first richly fragrant and sweet with notes of cinnamon, allspice and vanilla, finished with ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes, plus salting and refrigeration times | Makes a generous quart
  • 2 pounds peeled, cleaned and cubed pumpkin (or other winter squash), cut into 1-inch pieces (from about 4 pounds whole pumpkin)
  • About 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 cups white balsamic vinegar (rice vinegar can be substituted)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • Salt pumpkin for 2 to 3 hours until crisp-tender. Rinse well.

Step 1Place the pumpkin in a large nonreactive bowl, and toss with the salt, rubbing the salt evenly over all sides of the pumpkin pieces. Set the pumpkin aside for 3 to 4 hours to give the salt time to penetrate and soften the pieces. When the pumpkin is softened, carefully rinse off the pieces to remove all of the salt, and drain well.

Step 2In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and sugar, loosely cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and add the pumpkin pieces. Return the heat to high, and as soon as the mixture comes to a simmer, remove from heat.

Step 3Ladle the pumpkin and hot vinegar mixture into a clean, nonreactive bowl, and stir in the garlic, thyme, sage, marjoram and peppercorns. Weight the pumpkin using a heavy plate so it stays submerged in the liquid.

Step 4Refrigerate the pumpkin for at least a day to give the flavors time to develop. The pickles will last, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Note: The garlic in the pickling liquid may turn blue over time; this can be due to the water used or iodine in salt. If this happens, simply remove the garlic pieces; the pickles will be fine.


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