When you’ve eaten all the grilled summer squash and zucchini bread that you can stomach, and you still have loads of summer squash on your hands, make pickles. I landed on this idea last summer, and it’s a definite keeper. Since I already had a sweet refrigerator pickle recipe that I loved, I just adapted it a bit, and the results are nothing short of fantastic.
It makes beautiful green and yellow pickles that are ready to eat in as little as two days. Flavor-wise, they’re the best pickles I’ve ever eaten. In fact, I didn’t even bother to make regular, cucumber pickles last year. They just seem boring in comparison. Want to make a batch? Here’s the recipe.
Sweet Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles
2-1/2 lbs squash (approx.)
1 med onion
4 c sugar
2 c vinegar
2 Tbsp non-iodized salt
This recipe calls for non-iodized salt because iodine tends to make pickle brine cloudy. You can use non-iodized table salt or canning/pickling salt – either will work. If all you have is iodized salt, don’t sweat it. It’s a visual thing, not a safety thing.
You Will Also Need:
(3) quarts jars
What You Do:
Combine the sugar, vinegar and salt in a saucepan; and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until all of the sugar has dissolved, and you’re left with a clear brine. This should take about 10 minutes.
While you’re waiting on your brine, dice the onion, and cut up your summer squash. Remove both ends from the squash. Then, slice them into spears or rounds. The spears are great on hot dogs, and the rounds are great on hamburgers. I make both.
Divide the onion between the three jars. Then, pack the jars with as much squash as you can get in there. The ingredient list calls for 2-1/2 lbs of squash, but if you still have space in your jars after you’ve used up all your squash, cut some more up.
Pour your brine into the jars. Make sure your squash is covered completely. If you packed your jars tight enough, you should have just enough brine.
Screw on the lids, and allow your jars to cool. Then, move them to the refrigerator. Your pickles will be ready to eat in two days, but will taste even better, if you wait longer. I usually wait two weeks.
Note: Since these pickles are not canned, they need to be stored in the refrigerator. They are not shelf stable.
These have a really long shelf life. We’re still eating pickles that I made last summer. I just checked EatByDate, and they say an opened jar of pickles will keep for 1-2 years past the printed expiration date.
Tip: When you finish a jar of pickles, use the brine to flavor pasta salad, or drop more vegetables in the jar to create another batch of pickles.