A Cook's Notes on Dill: Zucchini Dill Pickles

| August/September 1993

Makes 4 pints

Small zucchini (about 1 inch in diameter) make the best pickles, but overgrown ones can make satisfactory pickles if they are halved, seeded, then cut into half-rings. I prefer to use the dill heads before they are completely mature and dry because of their soft flavor and appearance.

• 2 pounds small zucchini
• 2 medium onions
• 1/4 cup kosher salt
• Ice water
• 2 cups cider vinegar
• 2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon mustard seed
• 4 dill heads or 1/4 cup dill seed
• 4 or 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
• 1 bunch dill leaves, large stems removed

Trim the ends from the zucchini and slice about 3/8 inch thick. Halve the onions lengthwise, then slice them crosswise about 1/4 inch thick. Layer the vegetables in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt. Cover with ice water. Place a plate on top of the vegetables and a weight on the plate. Let stand for 2 hours.

Drain the zucchini and onions and rinse well. Drain again while you prepare the pickling liquid.

Mix the vinegar, water, sugar, and mustard in a large nonreactive pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

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