Everyone is humblebragging about their surprisingly massive zucchinis and fauxmoaning on what to do with this summer’s harvest. And we’ve all made suggestions. Now here’s something completely different. I grabbed this recipe from the Bon Appetit website and have been making Szechuan zucchini slices for a few summers.
These zucchini slices are pickled but require no special equipment, no canning savvy and pose no threat of weird botulism spores (real canning freaks me out just a little).
Hot, sweet and salty, these slices will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and make a pretty hostess gift.
Watch for these slices to appear in an upcoming blog post accompanying an Asian slaw and orange-peanut sweet potato burgers.
Note – you need to make these slices at least 24 hours before you plan to eat them.
1 zucchini – either green or yellow – washed and sliced into thin coins
2 Tbsp granulated sugar (make sure the brand you buy is vegan*)
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp chili flakes
2 whole pieces star anise
½ cup water
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar (do NOT use seasoned rice vinegar – it’ll over-flavour and salt the brine).
Put the sliced zucchini into a 2 cup (500 ml) canning jar. Drop in the star anise and the chili flakes.
Mix the sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a cup or jar until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour this brine over the slices, seal the jar and store in the fridge. Let the slices sit for at least 24 hours before eating. They will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
*What? What’s this about white sugar not being vegan?? Yup. That’s right. Many manufacturers of granulated white sugar filter the product through animal bone char to create snowy white sugar. Ugh. If you don’t want death at your door, check out the manufacturing process for the brand you buy (in Canada, Redpath is a vegan brand). Now you know why vegans with a sweet tooth love their agave, dates and maple syrup so much.