Diary of a Foodie

Summer Squash Bread and Butter Pickles

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: The Hungry Luddite

Makes6 (1-pint) jars
  • Active Time:1 1/4 hr
  • Start to Finish:5 1/2 hr (plus 1 week for flavors to develop)
January 2007
  • 4 lbs small yellow squash and green zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (12 cups)
  • 2 large onions, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons canning salt
  • 1 qt crushed ice
  • 2 1/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup (preferably dark amber)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 6 (4- to 5-inch-long) fresh red chiles such as Holland red hot finger peppers
  • Special equipment:

    6 (1-pint) canning jars with lids and screw bands
  • Toss together yellow squash, zucchini, and onions with 1/4 cup canning salt and crushed ice in a large bowl. Press a plate directly onto vegetables and place a 5-pound weight on top (a bag of sugar in a sealed plastic bag works well). Let stand at room temperature 4 hours.
  • Bring vinegar, syrup, water, mustard seeds, allspice, celery seeds, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canning salt to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile (don't cut all the way through), then add chiles to pickling liquid and continue to simmer 1 minute.
  • Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute, then invert.
  • Drain vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to catch liquid, then pack into jars, tucking a chile pepper into side of each jar. Fill jars with pickling liquid, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top, then run a thin knife between vegetables and jar to eliminate air bubbles.
  • Seal, process, and store filled jars, boiling pickles in jars 20 minutes.
  • Let pickles stand in jars at least 1 week for flavors to develop.
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