Recipe: Zuni Café zucchini pickles

Pickled bites
SPICY BITES: The relish tray includes pickled radishes, peppers, zucchini and grapes.
(Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)
Zuni Café zucchini picklesTotal time: 20 minutes, plus marinating and pickling timeServings: 3 cupsNote: Adapted from Judy Rodgers’ “The Zuni Café Cookbook."1 pound zucchini1 small yellow onion2 tablespoons kosher salt2 cups cider vinegar1 cup sugar1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard1 1/2 teaspoons crushed yellow and/or brown mustard seeds Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric1. Wash and trim the zucchini, then slice them one-sixteenth-inch thick; a mandoline works best. Slice the onion very thin as well. Combine the zucchini and onions in a large but shallow nonreactive bowl, add the salt and toss to distribute. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt. Alternatively, transfer the salted zucchini and onion slices to a Japanese pickle maker and screw down the top; do not add any water or ice cubes.2. After about 1 hour, taste and feel a piece of zucchini -- it should be slightly softened. Drain and pat dry.3. Combine the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. (If the brine is too hot, it will cook the vegetables and make the pickles soft instead of crisp.)4. Return the zucchini to a dry bowl and pour over the cooled brine. Stir to distribute the spices. Transfer the pickle to jars, preferably ones that have “shoulders” to hold the zucchini and onions beneath the surface of the brine. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least a day before serving to allow the flavors to mellow and permeate the zucchini, turning them a brilliant chartreuse color.Each 1/4 -cup serving: 27 calories; 0 protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 74 mg. sodium.

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