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Zuni Cafe Zucchini Pickles

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Cuisine: Appetizer Side dish

Hands on time: 20 minutes  Total time: 24 hours and 20 minutes  Serves: 12 (1/4 cup) servings


    1 pound zucchini
    1 small yellow onion
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    2 cups cider vinegar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
    1 1/2 teaspoons crushed yellow
    and/or brown mustard seeds
    Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric


Wash 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 onion 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.
After about 1 hour, taste and feel a piece of zucchini -- it should be slightly softened. Drain and pat dry. Combine 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.)
Return the zucchini to a dry bowl and pour the cooled brine over it. 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. -- Adapted from “The Zuni Cafe Cookbook” by Judy Rodgers (W.W. Norton, $35)


This recipe calls for 1 hour of marinating and 24 hours of pickling time.


Per serving: 27 calories (no calories from fat), no protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 74 milligrams sodium.

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