Summer Squash Pickles with Madagascar Spices
Makes 1 pint.
Our Madagascar Pickling Spice is a mild but flavor-packed blend. These squash quick-pickles are visually stunning — they take on the sunny hue of turmeric with the deep pink counterpoint of Madagascar baies roses. Importantly, they taste as good as they look and are a happy complement to grilled bratwurst, fish tacos, or a cheese board.
Using a wide mouth funnel when adding the brine to the jar makes the process easier and less messy. Use small, young squash without a pithy, seedy core. If you only have bigger squash on hand, split them and scoop out the seedy core before slicing.
2 cups sliced summer squash (cut in rounds about 1/8-inch thick)
½ cup thinly slice onion (cut in half-moon crescents)
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Madagascar Pickling Spice
Wash a pint jar with a tight sealing lid with hot soapy water. Rinse and dry the jar and set aside.
Dry brine the squash and onions Put the vegetables into a non-reactive bowl, sprinkle them with the salt, and toss to combine. Set aside for at least 30 minutes (or up to two hours), stirring occasionally. Quite a bit of liquid will accumulate in the bottom of the bowl during the dry brine.
Drain the squash and onions and return them to the bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water. Use your hand to swish the vegetables in the water, then drain. Repeat this once more.
Warp the vegetables with a clean tea towel and press gently but firmly to remove more moisture. Put half the vegetables into the jar.
Make the pickling brine Put the vinegar and Madagascar Pickling Spice into a small saucepan and add ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Set the pan over medium-high heat, bring the brine to a boil, and simmer for another minute or two.
Make the pickles Pour half of the hot brine, including some of the spices, into the pickle jar over the squash and onions. Add the remaining vegetables to the jar and pour in the remaining brine. Put the lid on the jar, tighten it, and let the pickles cool to room temperature.
The pickles are ready to eat once cooled, but their flavor benefits from a few hours in the fridge (an overnight rest is ideal). Store in the fridge for up to three weeks (they will be edible for longer but the texture won’t be quite as nice).