Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles

Lottie+Doof featured zucchini week recently and in a desperate attempt to use my CSA squash, I made both of Tim’s beautiful recipes substituting in my summer squash and adding my own touches. First, the Summer Squash Olive Oil Bread with Lemon Crunch Glaze, which was a huge success and now these pickles.

They were kind of advertised as sweet, but miles better than most you’ve ever tried. If your impression of sweet pickles is the relish or pickles packed in a syrupy brine, this is nowhere near as sweet as those varieties. The sweetness is balanced and somewhere in the background while the cider vinegar kick is front and center.

Serve these thin rounds on a sandwich, as a summer side or just dip your fork into the jar and go to town.

Recipe: Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles

Recipe adapted from Lottie+Doof

1 pound summer squash (about 1 medium and 1 small)

1 small onion

3 T. kosher salt

2 C. apple cider vinegar

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 1/2 t. dry mustard

1 1/2 t. coriander seeds

1 (scant) t. ground tumeric

1. Wash and trim summer squash and slice thinly into rounds (about 1/16-inch thick) on a mandolin. Slice the onion in the same way. Place together in a large bowl and add the kosher salt. Toss well to distribute the salt. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt. Set aside for about 1 hour.

2. After the hour, taste the squash. It should be faintly salty and softened. Drain and dry very thoroughly between towels or in a salad spinner. I used the salad spinner and spun the squash/onion 4 times to remove as much moisture as possible. Squash needs to be dry so it will crisp. Rinse and dry the bowl you were using.

3. In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, coriander seeds and tumeric and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir as it simmers to dissolve the sugar. Set mixture aside cool until at room temperature.

4. Put squash back in the bowl and add the cooled brine. Stir to combine. Transfer to 1 quart mason jar or 2 pint jars. Make sure jars and lids are cleaned in very hot water prior to adding squash. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day prior to serving to allow flavors to permeate squash. Keep in the fridge and enjoy for months, if they last that long.

10 Notes Leave a Note

  1. These sound like the perfectly balanced pickle, although I typically gravitate towards using honey in lieu of sugar in many of my pickling projects. And, I love the use of summer squash as the primary ingredient, something my garden is just about overflowing with these days.

  2. Oh do these look good! Refrigerator pickles are so dead simple and equally as tasty — don’t know why I haven’t made any in a few years. Have you made dilly beans? My grandma’s are so good, she gifts them at Christmas! I was so excited to get a jar in my stocking last year. Ha.


    P.s. I feel like you should have round-up post at some point: “Ode to the Summer Squashes”.

    • Heather – I have not made dilly beans, yet and that’s so sad! I’m sure your grandma’s are so good and what a beautiful gift to give/receive. Ha, yes, an ode to my friend yellow squash 🙂 We’ll see how much I continue to get from my CSA!

      Elizabeth – Honey pickled things sound really delicious!!

  3. I’ve actually had these pickles at Zuni Cafe in SF…they are AMAZING. they come on the side of their incredible burger…I literally wax poetic about them and dream about that burger and those pickles.

  4. First, I totally have those tongs! Second, I love the idea of zucchini pickles. Why aren’t they more mainstream?? Can’t wait to see you next week! xo

  5. I like the suggestion of subbing honey for the sugar. How much honey
    would I use instead of sugar?

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