Friday, January 12, 2007

Zucchini Pickles

I found a similar recipe on the web and have adapted it to my needs - which came about when I had a bumper crop of zucchini in my vegetable garden. After an unusually rainy summer, I was getting zucchinis which grew from normal size one day to about 2 kg each the next!

This pickle is like a sweet mustard pickle and I have made several batches this summer. Because the amount of zucchini you need to use up varies, I have just put down proportions of ingredients, not quantities.

1. Finely dice your zucchini and place in a large bowl or vessel, salting each layer well. Also slice up an onion or two and add. I would add an onion for each 500g - 1kg of zucchini. Cover with cold water and leave to stand for at least an hour or overnight.

2. In a large saucepan dissolve sugar in white vinegar (although I am going to experiment with malt vinegar next time). You will need equal quantities of sugar to vinegar. 1 kg of zucchini will probably need 2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of sugar to be enough to cover the vegetables as they boil. For each cup of vinegar, add 1 tsp powdered mustard and 1 tsp tumeric.

3. Once the sugar has dissolved, add your drained zucchini and onion. The vegetables will shrink a little on cooking, but you need to ensure you have enough of the vinegar/sugar mix to cover. You can add more vinegar and sugar at this stage if you need to, just stir until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Bring to a good boil, and boil for at least 45 mins. Depending on the size of the chunks of zucchini, I have boiled for up to 1 1/2 hours to get a good consistency.

5. At the end, you may want to dissolve a tablespoon or two of cornflour in a little vinegar and add this to the pot to thicken the mixture.

6. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal.


* If your jars are well sterilised this will keep for months in the cupboard, indefinitely in the fridge.
* I sometimes add a generous pouring of curry powder to this recipe to get a slightly "bitier" pickle.
* This is good served with cold meats, cheese and salads!
* Mustard pickles can be made with any other vegetable you might have a bumper crop of, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber. It is nice to add some red capsicum for the colour.