Did you know you can make pickles out of pretty much anything without having to can them? I’ll show you how, but first I need to bust out my Dad and his canning/country music obsession from the early 90s. For whatever reason I can so very clearly picture him in my mind standing over a giant vat of steaming water canning vegetable after vegetable – mostly cucumbers and beets – with Boot Scootin’ Boogy or Achy Breaky Heart blasting from the speakers, for hours on end, for an entire summer. It was a phase for the ages.
Well, no country music blasting from the speakers at my house, nor of boiling water. Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles are no-cook and take about 10 minutes from start to finish. You know what we call that? An UPGRADE. Sorry Dad!
Anyway, zucchini pickles you guys! These are a thing and you should totally make them. We’re at the peak of zucchini season right now so I thought this would a fun and refreshing snack recipe to have on hand. As I mentioned, the recipe is no heat required – just mix water, distilled vinegar, salt, peppercorns, and a ton of fresh dill and garlic in a couple mason jars then add fresh zucchini spears and stash in the fridge. That’s it!
A couple other things worth mentioning – there is NO sugar in this recipe. Call me crazy but sweet, bread and butter-type pickles have no business calling themselves pickles. I just can’t. That said, this recipe is wonderfully savory and briny, and the garlic and dill really shine. I’ve listed two amounts for both ingredients so be sure to go on the lighter side if you prefer a more subtle garlic and dill flavor. I also added sliced shallot to these pickles which add a spicy, crispy contrast to the zucchini spears. I highly recommend a small appetizer fork for help fishing them out (and a breath mint for afterwards!)
Mix everything together, give the jar a little shake, then stash in the fridge for 24 hours before digging in and taking a bite. It’ll be hard to wait, but it’ll definitely be worth it!
Start by adding to 2 pint-sized mason jars each: 3/4 cup water, 2 Tablespoons distilled vinegar, 3/4 Tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (iodized salt will make a cloudy brining liquid,) 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, and 3-4 garlic cloves (depending on how much you love garlic.) Screw on the lids then shake well to combine.
Next add 2-3 spears fresh baby dill (depending on how much you like dill) and 1/2 of a large sliced shallot.
Next slice up the zucchini – you’ll need 2 small/medium-sized zucchini that are roughly the same diameter from bottom to top, though it’s not a deal breaker if they’re not – just use what you’ve got! After trimming off the tops and bottoms, slice each zucchini in half width-wise, then slice each half in half lengthwise. Finally, slice each quarter into 3 spears then add to the jars and give them one last shake.
Last step is to stash the pickles in the fridge then try your best not to open them for at least 24 hours. Your patience will be handsomely rewarded with garlicky, dill-kissed, super crisp zucchini pickles if you do. Keep in the refrigerator for a week or two, and re-make often. I hope you love this easy, summery recipe – enjoy!
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Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles are no-heat nor canning-required! Make in just 10 minutes with your garden bounty plus kitchen staples.
- 1-1/2 cups water (3/4 cup per jar)
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (2 Tablespoons per jar)
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons kosher or pickling salt (3/4 Tablespoons per jar)
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns (1 teaspoon per jar)
- 6-8 cloves peeled garlic (3-4 cloves per jar)
- 4-6 spears fresh baby fresh dill (2-3 spears per jar)
- 1 large shallot, sliced (1/2 shallot per jar)
- 2 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 12 spears each or rounds (1 zucchini per jar)
- 2 - 16oz mason jars
- Evenly divide the water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, and garlic between 2 pint-sized (16oz) mason jars. Screw on the lid then shake to combine.
- Divide dill, shallots, and zucchini spears between the two jars then screw on the lid and gently shake. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before enjoying. Zucchini pickles will last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Do not use iodized table salt for this recipe
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.