Sweet and Sour Zucchini - a quick summer pickle

By • September 1, 2013 0 Comments

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Author Notes:

Now is the time to preserve what you can of summer's bounty. We are very lucky to have wonderful neighbours who have planted a vegetable patch from which they have been kind enough share their courgettes. Which I love! A recipe for a quick summer pickle in an in-store magazine inspired this recipe - I have tinkered with the spices and the ingredients which has produced a much more herbal flavour

The turmeric gives the courgettes a glowing golden hue and the fennel and the coriander seeds contribute a warm herbal note. The courgettes retain their crunch whilst the onions mellow in the brine

The sweet and sour pickle juice is delicious too - use in salad dressings and marinades; douse hot potatoes with it and then add a little mayo and chopped up pickles for a delicious salad. And the sweet and sour pickle juice fantastic in a Bloody Mary! There is a wonderful article on Food52 about the uses of pickle juice. Pickleback shot anyone?

Cheese plate
Roast beef or tuna or cheese sandwiches
Chopped up in a potato salad also using the brine to douse the hot potatoes before adding mayonnaise
In an egg salad
With cold cuts
In burgers
Serve as a condiment at a barbecue
Selma | Selma's Table


Makes 1 x 500ml jar or 2 x 250ml jars

The Vegetables...

  • 500 g Zucchini or Courgettes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2Tbsp Kosher or pickling salt

Sweet Brine

  • 400 milliliters white wine or cider vinegar
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes - add more if you like it hot
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp *dry roasted coriander seeds
  1. Trim the ends then slice the courgettes into 1/2cm coins.
  2. Peel and slice the red onion into thin rings
  3. Layer in a bowl and sprinkling with salt as you go
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for about an hour or cover with ice for the same time. Keeping them cold helps to keep the courgettes firm.
  5. In the meantime, place all the sweet brine ingredients into a (non-reactive) saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let the brine cool to room temperature. You might want to open all your windows and turn on all extractor fans when you make the brine - the smell of boiling vinegar is quite pungent to say the least.
  6. Layer the courgettes and onions (do not rinse off the salt) into a sterilised jar, pour over the sweet brine, cover and refrigerate. Ready after a 24 hour steep and still tastes delicious 6 weeks later.
  7. *To dry roast seeds like cumin and coriander, pop them into a non-stick pan on medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan from time to time to ensure that all sides are being roasted. You can smell them as they begin to toast - but do keep as eye on them as they can burn easily. I usually do a small jar full at a time as they keep for a long time. Dry roasting really intensifies the flavour and adds more depth to the finished dish.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Condiments|Side Dishes|Snacks|Pickles