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Zuni’s Zucchini Pickles

Zuni Restaurant in San Francisco is renowned for many things, including its hamburgers. The fact that they hand-grind their own meat certainly contributes to the caliber of the hamburger,  but I am convinced that the key lies in the condiments—for one, the lovely chartreuse-colored zucchini pickles. You can make these at home and always have a jar handy in your frig for an easy upgrade to your own burgers. (Recipe adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook)

Zuni’s Zucchini Pickles
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4-6

  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons organic ground yellow mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons organic crushed yellow mustard seeds and/or organic brown mustard seeds
  • Scant 1 teaspoon organic ground turmeric

  1. Wash and trim zucchini, then slice 1/16th inch thick on mandolin. Slice onion thinly.
  2. Place zucchini and onion in large shallow bowl, add salt and toss.
  3. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt. Leave for one hour.
  4. Drain and dry between towels or spin in a salad spinner. (excess water thins flavor and spoils the pickle)
  5. Combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. (If brine is too hot, it will cook the vegetables and make the pickle soft instead of crisp).
  6. Replace zucchini in bowl and add brine. Stir.
  7. Transfter pickes to jars and cover. Refrigerate a day before serving. They keep indefinitely.

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