CanJam July #2: a quick mini-batch of pickles, or an attempt to deal with the metric tons of summer squash currently taking over my refirgerator.
Do you know Patty? She’s round & bumpy, bright yellow (or sometimes green), looks like a flying saucer? Yes, that one. She and her entire extended family have moved into my fridge, lock, stock and two smoking 8-balls. When a house guest over stays her welcome, I say, pickle ‘em!
Brine propotions taken from Marisa’s recipe for Garlic Dill Pickles.
- 1 and 1/2 lbs pattypan squash, or a mix of yellow & green (zucchini) summer squash (about 4 cups sliced)
- 2 tbsp pickling salt
Flavoring, per jar:
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger
- 1, 3-inch strip of lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp chile flakes
- 1 small dried Thai pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp pickling salt
- 1/2 tbsp raw sugar (organic turbinado)
- Scrub the squash and slice into 1/4-inch slices. If the pattypans are large, slice in half horizontally (‘open’ the flying saucer) and remove the seeds before slicing. Layer in a large bowl and sprinkle the 2 tbsp salt over the layers; allow to rest for about 3 hours to leach excess water out of the squash.
- Prepare canner, jars and lids. Add brine ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Maintain at a low boil.
- Drain the squash and rinse well in cool water. To a clean, cool pint jar add flavorings and pack squash slices in, tightly, but leaving room for brine to permeate the pieces (the amount above should just fill two pint jars). Pour boiling brine into the jar, filling to 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rim, affix lid and add to the water bath. Repeat with the next pint jar and then process both jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields 2 pints pickles.
- You can modify the spices/flavorings at will. Whole spices will keep your brine clearest, but ground spices are safe to use if that is what you have on hand.
- For safety, do not vary the proportions of water, vinegar or salt. Always check that your vinegar is at least 5% acidity (if you make your own vinegar, check using an acid titration kit.)
- Pickling salt contains neither iodine (present in regular table salt), which will stain pickles a brownish color, nor anti-caking agent (present in most salts, including Kosher) which will make your brine cloudy. Any salt is safe to use; pickling salt is used for aesthetics.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, these will last at least 1 month.