Remember when I mentioned that I love pickles? I really do. I prefer lacto-fermented or fresh pickles over any that are heat processed both for crispness and to maintain the vitamins and minerals naturally present in the vegetables. As I am up to my ears in zucchini and my cucumbers are just starting to grow, I decided to try a new recipe out . . . if only to keep up on my zucchini progress!
This recipe for Garlic Ginger Zucchini Pickles is considered a fresh pickle in that they are neither fermented nor are they heat processed. The vegetables are simply rinsed, sliced and seasoned/preserved with vinegar and spices. The flavor combination in this recipe is wonderful – strongly garlicky and spicy with a slight sweetness from the ginger and honey. I will honestly tell you, I do not like any variety of sweet pickle. No bread and butters, nothing. But this pickle is different, the slight sweetness is perfect for cutting into the bite of the spice and frankly, they wouldn’t be the same without them.
If you come across a summer cold and can’t bear the thought of heating up the house by making soup, I encourage you to eat a few of these; the ginger and the garlic will clear it right up!
Garlic Ginger Zucchini Pickles
makes 4 pints
- 8 cups thinly sliced zucchini
- 1 medium sweet onion (I used Vidalia), sliced
- 4 Tablespoons pickling or sea salt
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons red chile flakes (for a less spicy pickle, halve this!)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar*
- 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
In a large bowl, mix zucchini slices with sliced onion and salt. Cover with ice and water and soak for a minimum of one hour, up to four hours.
Meanwhile, place the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.
Make sure to use very clean, sanitized pint jars and lids. Drain zucchini and onions of water and any remaining ice cubes. Disperse zucchini and onions evenly amongst jars. Using a funnel, pour the vinegar and spices over the vegetables until covered making sure to disperse the spices and garlic evenly amongst the jars.
Cap with a non-reactive cap and store in the fridge for at least a day before testing. Will last in the fridge or cold storage for several months. I would eat it within a month or two to maintain crispness. Once a jar is opened, keep refrigerated.
*Note: Though I love using raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in dressings, for pickles I use the filtered stuff. Not only because you have to boil the vinegar, thus rendering any raw attributes null and void, but it will also make a clearer, prettier pickle.