Pickled Zucchini: Summer’s Bounty

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Vintage recipes for pickling fresh vegetables and garden produce are hard to find, but they are worth digging through old recipe books and family recipe cards to try. We’re not just talking pickles either.

Besides the following popular pickled zucchini recipe, I’ve found pickling recipes for: carrots, string beans, cherries, prunes, peaches, pears, crab-apples and cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, apples, onions, green tomatoes and of course, cucumbers. Don’t forget cucumbers for making pickles.

Once part of the summer kitchen circuit, today consumers buy pickled products off grocery shelves or find them in specialty shops. No cleaning, brining or canning required, but there’s a tasty reward when made from kitchen scratch.

Vegetables are the edible parts of garden plants. Carrots and parsnips are examples of roots; potatoes are tubers; onions and beets are bulbs. Celery and asparagus stalks of plants. Lettuce and spinach are examples of leafy vegetables. Cauliflower and broccoli are flowers. Tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits; beans and peas are seeds. The Household Searchlight Recipe Book, 1938

This is a great summer side.

julysidesalad 016Pickled Zucchini, 1930s, Donna and Marie from Healthy Hearts Exercise Class, California

Get out the food processer for the chopping.

  • 8 cups thinly sliced green or yellow zucchini or combination
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced or chopped
  • 1 green, yellow or red bell pepper, sliced or chopped

Mix all of the above in a large bowl, sprinkle with one tablespoon salt. Toss well & set aside.

Mix in a large saucepan:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed

Celery salt and dry mustard may be substituted for the celery seed and mustard seed.

Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Pour the zucchini mix into the hot liquid and stir well.

julysidesalad 012Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate until well chilled. Divide the recipe in half for small groups.

When the temperatures soar and

I’m weak from the heat,

There’s one consolation,

I still love to eat.

Our Favorite Italian Recipes, Italian Catholic Federation, Central Coast, 1974