Zucchini pickles









Here’s what to do with the rest of the zucchini glut (self-inflicted, harvested or otherwise acquired), should you by chance having any kicking around your house or a few pounds leftover from last weeks lunch. These pickled zucchini are not mouth-puckering vinegary, they are savoury with a lingering note of distilled herbs and Indian spices, have a subtle sourness and just a whisper of sweetness – think of them as something along the lines of sweet & sour Indian bread-and-butter pickles. Imagine how good they will be with cooked ham, on a sandwich (oh, I should make pastrami), as a side to a cheese platter. Certainly will they be fantastic with turkey & chicken and provide an extra flavour-layer to the great noodle / rice / quinoa / farro bowls that we all will be eating for lunch now that the days are getting shorter.

In all their turmeric glory, they look pretty stunning, don’t they? The yellow, green & red just pop and bring back the summer colours when you get a jar out later in the year. Surely, they will liven up the darkest and dankest of days with their cheery colours and warm aromatic spices. The zucchini pickles are not spicy at all, so feel free to add a few chillies to cover that if you are so inclined.

The recipe was given to me years ago by my friend, Dorothee, when we both studied history of art (it is actually her mother’s recipe). I still have the piece of paper she wrote it on and normally follow it to the t. This year, I’ve changed the master copy by doubling the peppers for additional colour and (rather by accident then intent) cut the zucchini into green rimmed half moons instead of peeling and deseeding them as indicated below. Extensive testing results are already in: I love them both ways and am quite chuffed with this year’s crunchier version.



Zucchini pickles

Zucchini pickles

Makes about 16 jars (Bonne Maman jam jar size). Recipe adapted from my friend Dorothee’s Mum. Thank you. As you can see, it is still in use. The recipe is easily halved in case you do not need to cope with such large amounts.


6 lbs. zucchini / courgettes / summer squash, peeled and deseeded*
1 lb. yellow onions, peeled
2 red (bell) peppers
2 green (bell) peppers
2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon salt
4 cups sugar
3 cups 7 herb vinegar (I am using this one from Surol; but if you can’t get it use an aromatic clear vinegar)
4 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery salt
4 teaspoon turmeric


Cut zucchini, onions, peppers and garlic in stripes and place in a large (glass) bowl. Stir remaining ingredients together and pour over the vegetables, mix and leave, covered, to infuse overnight.

Fill in sterilized jars and cook in a waterbath (the water should easily cover the jars, about 1cm or ½ inch) at 90°C / 195°F for 20 minutes.

Alternatively, heat water in enough pots to accommodate all your jars until just boiling, place them in a preheated oven (100°C / 210° F) and carefully lower your jars into them. The water should cover the jars easily (see above), if not, add more hot water. Cook them for about 20-25 minutes.

Take out of the  water and leave to cool. Store in a dark, cool place; after opening, keep the jar in the fridge.


*That’s how the recipe goes. But, as you can see in the pictures, I’ve skipped the peeling and deseeding simply because I forgot it and only noticed when I had to have a look at the recipe for the temperature. The result is nevertheless extremely yummy and the pickled zucchini slices have an appealing bite to them.





Deutsches Rezept:

pickled zucchini

Eingelegte Zucchini

Ergibt ca. 16 Gläser (Bonne Maman Marmeladengläsergröße, um genau zu sein). Das Rezept stammt von der Mutter meiner Freundin Dorothee (Dankeschön!), das ich hier nur insofern verändert habe, daß ich die Menge der Paprika verdoppelt und, wie man sieht, die Zucchini anders behandelt habe. Das Rezept kann auch ganz einfach halbiert werden, sollte man nicht so große Mengen an Zucchini besitzen oder Platz für viele Gläser haben (immer gut zum Verschenken).


6 Pfund Zucchini, schälen und entkernen*
1 Pfund Zwiebeln, schälen
2 rote Paprika
2 grüne Paprika
2 Zehen Knoblauch

1 EL Salz
4 Tassen Zucker
3 Tassen 7 Kräuter-Essig (Surol)
4 TL gelbe Senfkörner
1 TL Selleriesalz
4 TL Kurkuma


Zucchini, Zwiebeln, Paprika und Knoblauch in Streifen schneiden und in eine ausreichend große (Glas-)Schüssel geben. Restliche Zutaten verrühren und über das Gemüse geben, durchmischen. Abgedeckt eine Nacht ziehen lassen.
In sterilisierte Gläser füllen und bei 90°C 20 Minuten einwecken.

Alternativ können die Gläser auch im Wasserbad (das Wasser sollte über den geschlossenen Deckel der Gläser reichen) bei gleicher Temperatur (90°C) einkochen oder die mit Wasser und Einmachgläsern befüllten Töpfe in den 100°C warmen Backofen stellen und dort für mindestens 20-25 Minuten kochen.

Aus dem Wasser nehmen, langsam abkühlen lassen und an einem dunklen Ort aufbewahren. Nach dem Öffnen im Kühlschrank aufbewahren.


* So lautet das Originalrezept. Wie man im Photo sehen kann, habe das Schälen und Entkernen in diesem Jahr übersprungen und erst am nächsten Tag auf das Rezept geschaut um die Temperatur zu überprüfen. Tja, aber so ist diese leckere Variante mit ein wenig Biß zustande gekommen.

7 thoughts on “Zucchini pickles

  1. Nicole, I’m glad you came up with this wonderful recipe for pickled zucchini. It looks fantastic. I feel bad not having you emailed my mother in law’s zucchini bread recipe. I finally found it, but it had too much sugar and fat in it . Have a great week. It’s really hot here and we have fires in Monterey and Big Sur, I hope it cools down soon .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.