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Pickled  Zucchini Ribbons
Eat and Drink
August 2021
Reading time 5 Minutes
A local favourite lunch spot of mine serves similar zucchini pickles on their cheese boards. I always thought the yellow came from curry until I started doing research on pickling and discovered that turmeric has been used as a preservative in Indian food for years. What I love about these zucchini ribbons is that they are very forgiving. Don’t have dill on hand? Skip it. Prefer another vinegar? Try apple cider or white wine vinegar. Although I’ve made these several different ways, the version I include here is my favourite. Also, in order to end up with a crisp ribbon, it’s important that you let them sit in the ice-cold salt mixture and that your brine is close to room temperature when you pour it over the zucchinis (or else they will cook and soften).
  • 455g zucchini (about 3 small zucchini),
  • ends trimmed
  • 2 small shallots, ends trimmed and peeled
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 360ml rice vinegar
  • 240ml distilled white vinegar (or red wine vinegar or rice vinegar)
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill

Using a mandolin set to 1.3 mm, slice the zucchini lengthwise to create long ribbon strips. Alternatively, use a large vegetable peeler to slice long lengthwise strips. Slice the shallots. 

Transfer the zucchini, shallots, and salt to a shallow 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] casserole dish. Add ice cubes and fill with cold water to cover. Stir until the salt has dissolved, and let sit for 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over high heat, add the vinegars, sugar, ground mustard, mustard seeds, and turmeric and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature while the zucchini is soaking. 

Drain the zucchini and shallots and pat dry. Transfer to a large 1.4 to 2 litre jar or a narrow bowl and add the dill. Pour the cooled brine over the vegetables, making sure to completely cover them. Seal and refrigerate overnight to let the flavours meld. 

Serve cold. Store, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to one week.

Extracted from Tables & Spreads: A Go-To Guide for Beautiful Snacks, Intimate Gatherings, and Inviting Feasts by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel (Chronicle Books, £21.99) © 2021 Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

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