Why This Recipe Works: Zucchini are great for pickling, and unlike pickling cucumbers, are available year-round. Plus, in late summer when gardeners have more zucchini than they know what to do with, making pickles is a great way to use them. We wanted a zucchini pickle with a familiar sweet-and-sour profile, but with added elegance. We chose shallots instead of onions for their more delicate flavor and made a tangy yet sweet brine with classic pickling spices. Like cucumbers, zucchini required special treatment to ensure crispness. We salted the slices to draw out water, which helped them stay firm. We packed our slices into jars along with Ball Pickle Crisp, which helps retain pectin. Rather than processing in a boiling-water bath, we opted for low-temperature pasteurization, which made our pickles shelf-stable while ensuring their crispness.
For more information about long-term storage, see Canning Step by Step.
Prep: 25 minutes
Salt: 3 hours
Cook: 10 minutes
Process: 30 minutes
Yield: four 1-pint jars
2 3/4 pounds small zucchini (6 ounces each), trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 shallots, sliced thin
2 tablespoons canning and pickling salt
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp
1. Toss zucchini and shallots with salt in bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. Drain vegetables in colander (do not rinse), then pat dry with paper towels.
2. Meanwhile, set canning rack in large pot, place four 1‐pint jars in rack, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium‐high heat, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.
3. Bring vinegar, sugar, water, mustard seeds, turmeric, and celery seeds to boil in large saucepan over medium‐high heat; cover and remove from heat.
4. Place dish towel flat on counter. Using jar lifter, remove jars from pot, draining water back into pot. Place jars upside down on towel and let dry for 1 minute. Add 1/8 teaspoon Pickle Crisp to each hot jar, then pack tightly with drained vegetables.
5. Return brine to brief boil. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over vegetables to cover, distributing spices evenly and leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Slide wooden skewer along inside of jar, pressing slightly on vegetables to remove air bubbles, then add extra brine as needed.
6a. For short-term storage: Let jars cool to room temperature, cover with lids, and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. (Pickles can be refrigerated for up to 1 month; flavor will continue to mature over time.)
6b. For long-term storage: While jars are warm, wipe rims clean, add lids, and screw on rings until fingertip‐tight; do not overtighten. Before processing jars, heat water in canning pot to temperature between 120 and 140 degrees. Lower jars into water, bring water to 180 to 185 degrees, then cook for 30 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain water between 180 and 185 degrees. Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, check seal, and clean rims. (Sealed jars can be stored for up to 1 year.)