I came across this recipe on The Kitchn a few weeks ago and I went home and immediately made a batch with a yellow squash and green pepper from our CSA. The combination of the crunchy bite of the squash, sweet-tart brine, and serious garlic bite is so addictive, I made a second batch the next week. And I’ve been rationing the pickles ever since—cautiously sharing with friends and occasionally putting them on my lunch time salads.
What’s the secret to such great pickles? Starting with delicious produce certainly helps. And a flavorful pickling liquid is key. I used a combination of organic apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, toasted spices, and mustard seeds to create this one, and it’s so good, I’ve taken to using the leftover liquid for whatever vegetables we happen to have (including those pretty tomatoes from last week). I love the pop of the tart mustard seeds on your tongue against the squash.
And while it may be a condiment, just like the best old fashioned “pickle” pickles, this squash dish is good enough to eat all on its own (it’s also great on top on sandwiches). It’s definitely my new favorite pickle. Do you have a favorite? What have you been pickling for the fall?
Pickled Yellow Squash, adapted from The Kitchn
Servings: 2 pints
3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small green or red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
¼ cup kosher salt
½ tablespoon pickling spices
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2½ cups apple cider vinegar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
Combine squash, onions, peppers, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add a few ice cubes and enough cold water to just cover. Combine and set aside for 30 minutes.
Rinse the vegetables well and place in a colander to drain. Meanwhile heat a small saucepan over low heat and toast the pickling spices and mustard seeds. When the spices are aromatic, add the vinegar, sugar, and ground mustard and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stirring to make sure the ingredients are dissolved, and cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
Gently pat the vegetables dry with a towel and place in canning jars or an airtight container. Pour vinegar, spices, and seeds over the mixture and use a knife to push seeds and spices down around vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for up to one month. Strain from brine before serving.