Jul 282010

Garlic Ginger Zucchini PicklesRemember 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.


This post is written in conjunction with Two for Tuesday’s Blog Hop, Summer Fest, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Foodie Friday and Fight Back Friday!

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  15 Responses to “Garlic Ginger Zucchini Pickles”

  1. The ginger sounds amazing in these – I just wish I had this recipe last year when I was drowning in zuchini. Come on vines, produce! Thanks so much for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday.

  2. Wow – I’ve never been too interested in pickles but this recipe caught my eye. I think I would actually like these. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Sounds like a nice twist on a pickle, and easy to do too! Thanks!

  4. I never ever thought of this! What a great idea!

    Would love it if you would consider sharing this at Monday Mania blog carnival at The Healthy Home Economist. Recipes, green tips, personal stories, book reviews, vlogs etc are all welcome – an eclectic mix of awesome blog posts! Hope to see you there!

  5. Mmm, now these flavors are new to me. I’ll have far too many yellow squash on hand here in a jiff. You can bet I’ll be trying this recipe! They look fantastic.

  6. Wow, these look zingy! There is nothing better than homemade pickles and relishes from the summer garden! Thanks for sharing the real food love on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! 🙂 Alex@amoderatelife

  7. Hurray – I have everything to make these!! My family will be so proud! Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!

  8. Any type of pickles that include garlic…and I’m in! These sound very tasty. Thanks for sharing them with Two for Tuesdays this week.

  9. Oh, these sound like such interesting pickles. I totally agree with you about sweet pickles – I’ve never liked them. But, these have me very intrigued. I think I might have to try them. Thanks for adding this to our Two for Tuesday blog hop this week!

  10. Can you lacto-ferment zuchinni?

    • Hi Moshe!

      Yes, you can absolutely lacto-ferment zucchini but in pickles I find that they get too mushy so I limit my lacto-fermenting to items with a bit more crunch (including cucumber pickles, peppers, sauerkraut, etc.) However, I’ve considered making a lacto-fermented dill zucchini relish, as I think that the small pieces in relish would make the mushiness less noticeable.

      Good luck!


  11. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. These are very delicious, an easy recipe and a keeper for me. I wish I could can these so they would last longer but then they wouldn’t be as healthy for you. I plan to make a lot of these next year when the zucchini is plentiful.

  12. I plan on trying your recipe it sounds unique and delicous but I would like to hot bath part of the batch. Would this totally ruin the recipe and if not how long a bath? thank you

    • Hi Mary!

      I think if you hot-water bathed them they’d get really mushy since they’re zucchini and not cucumbers. I’ve never hot water bathed them before but I’d guesstimate 20 minutes for pints – just long enough for them to seal. Since they have such a high quantity of vinegar in them, I’ve never had any problem with them sitting on a cool shelf for several months . . . without using any heat. Instead, I just put a layer of plastic wrap on top then screwed on the lid. I hope you try them – they’re fabulous!

      Good luck!


    • I had to tell you this Mary . . .

      So I was down in my basement today grabbing a jar of green chiles that I canned last year and I found my last, lone jar of these garlic ginger zucchini pickles (remember, not water bathed, simply with a plastic lid on top) and I thought of you. I opened them, (slightly suspecting to be found by my husband lying unconscious from the fumes at the bottom of my basement stairs when he came home,) and . . . nothing. They’re still perfectly fine a year after I made them. Just wanted to let you know!


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