Rhubarb + Zucchini Pickles

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Rhubarb + Zucchini Pickles
4 February 2014

This year has seen my two girls head off to school, leaving me with more time to get on with stuff. Somehow one of those things ended up being hanging out with them at school teaching the kids cooking. I am not sure whether this is a desperate attempt to be around my girls or just me sharing something I am truly passionate about.. I am sure it is a bit of both.

So, each Tuesday I head to school and cook up treats from the school’s garden and I am will share our creations and recipes with you.

They are all great things to make with kids, and they will all be vegan, as my girls go to a vegan school.

This week we made jars of pickled rhubarb and zucchini (not in the same jar). The school’s garden is currently HEAVING with rhubarb and it would be such a shame to see it go to waste. Last year we whipped up jars of rhubarb compote, so delicious. It is also crazy zucchini season, and there is only so much zucchini you can consume over summer. So why not pickle it and enjoy it in the cold months? I refer to winter as kale season, as that is pretty much all we get growing in our back garden.

I stole these both from random pickling sites, they haven’t been tested, so I’ll let you know in 48 hours how they tasted.

Keep your eye out for another regular column on Thursday, exciting things ahead!

This is what you’ll need:

For the rhubarb:
  • 4 to 6 large stalks
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
For the zucchini:
  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • Brine:
  • 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. mustard seeds, crushed*
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. turmeric

This is what you do:

For the rhubarb:
  1.  Prepare two wide mouth pint jars and lids.
  2. Wash rhubarb stalks well and trim to fit into the jars. If the stalks are broad, slice them into lengthwise sections. In a small saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Divide the mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves and star anise between the two prepared jars. Pack the rhubarb pieces into the jars above the spices.
  4. Once the pickling liquid has boiled and the sugar and salt are dissolved, pour it into the jars over the rhubarb, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tap the jars gently to dislodge any air bubbles. If the headspace level has dropped significantly, add more pickling liquid.
  5. Wipe jar rims, apply lids and rings and process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. If jars are at all sticky, wash them to remove that residue. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to 1 year. Unsealed jars can be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 2 weeks.
  6. Let this pickle cure for at least 48 hours before eating.
For the zucchini:
  1. First make the brine my bringing the cider vinegar, sugar, salt, crushed mustard seeds, dry mustard, and turmeric to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool until just warm to the touch.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini. A mandoline, if you have one, is very handy for this but a sharp knife and steady hand work just as well.
  3. Peel, halve, and thinly slice the onion.
  4. When the brine is cooled, add zucchini and onion slices. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture evenly into 3 pint jars, clean the edges, and screw on the tops. Refrigerate at least one day, and up to 6 months.