Zucchini Mock Mini-Apple-Ring Pickles

I originally got this recipe in 1983 from my sister-in-law in Somerset, Kentucky.  The recipe called for pickling lime and a total of 27 hours of soaking.  Because of the time-consuming process, I only made them once but thought they were very tasty.

I noticed that Ball makes a Pickle Crisper that is much easier to use and does not require all the soaking time.  I thought I would revise the recipe to make a smaller batch and to use the new Ball product.  This is a much easier process and the pickle is still as tasty as I remembered it from 1983.

ZUCCHINI MOCK MINI-APPLE-RING PICKLES

  • 1 lb. zucchini (1-½ inch diameter)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar, 5% acidity
  • 1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. pickling salt
  • 2 Tblsp. cinnamon candy red-hots
  • Ball Pickle Crisper (Calcium Chloride) – 1 tsp. for pint, 1/2 tsp for ½-pint, 1/8 tsp for 4 oz. jar

Peel and cut zucchini into ½ inch rings.  Using a paring knife, cut an “X” in the center of each ring and use the tip of the knife to cut out a small circle.

In a large saucepan, place granulated sugar, white vinegar and pickling salt.  Bring to a boil, then stir in the red hot candy pieces, continuing to stir until candy is dissolved.   Add the zucchini slices and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 2 minutes.

Sterilize an 8 oz. and a 4 oz. Mason or Ball jars and lids.  In the 8 oz. jar, place 1/4 tsp. of  Pickle Crisper and in the 4 oz jar, 1/8 tsp of Pickle Crisper.

Ladle in the zucchini and brine to fill jars to within ¼ inch of top edge.  Wipe edges clear and put on lids.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Let pickles cure for at least two weeks before serving.

Yield:  One 8 oz. and one 4 oz. jar


The small jars would make nice hostess gifts and definitely are something a little bit different.  It’s easy to double or triple the recipe if desired.  Just be sure to put the correct amount of Pickle Crisper in the jar, based on the size of the jar.

DOUBLE RECIPE:
2 lbs. zucchini (1-½ inch diameter)
4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups white vinegar, 5% acidity
2 Tblsp. plus 2 tsp. pickling salt
¼ cup cinnamon candy red-hots

Ball Pickle Crisper (Calcium Chloride) – 1 tsp. for pint, 1/2 tsp for ½-pint, 1/8 tsp for 4 oz. jar

TRIPLE RECIPE:
3 lbs. zucchini (1-½ inch diameter)
6 cups granulated sugar
3 cups white vinegar, 5% acidity
¼ cup pickling salt
¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. cinnamon candy red-hots

Ball Pickle Crisper (Calcium Chloride) – 1 tsp. for pint, 1/2 tsp for ½-pint, 1/8 tsp for 4 oz. jar

This is a good website with information on canning:

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/preserving-canning/

Best of Show Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I started making zucchini dishes in 1982 when my husband, 12-year-old daughter and I were living in Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border.  We had two acres which my husband had filled with every kind of plant, tree and bush that would produce something edible – barely leaving room for a small house in the center.  He loved to grow zucchini because he was rewarded with basket after basket of them and as a novice country dweller, I tried to make use of every single piece of fruit or vegetable he brought in the house.

By 1987, I had tried a lot of zucchini recipes and was looking for something different to take to our Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati).  I decided to take a favorite recipe from the Bear Wallow Zucchini cookbook and change it from a spicy zucchini bread to a chocolate one.  The bread not only won the blue ribbon at the fair, but also won the Best of Show rosette.  It’s a delicious zucchini treat.

BEST OF SHOW CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

  • Servings: Two 9-inch loaves OR two 7-1/2-inch loaves plus one 5x2-inch loaf OR six 5x2-inch loaves and one 7-1/2-inch loaf
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  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour loaf pans of your choice

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs; add cocoa and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in oil, sugar and vanilla.

Stir in zucchini.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, soda and salt.  Stir into zucchini mixture.  Stir in walnuts.

Pour into greased/floured pans, filling about 3/4 full, and bake @ 350 degrees F.

Loaves are done when a tester inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean

  • Two 9×5 loaves – bake for approximately one hour
  • Two 7-1/2×3-¾ loaves and one 5×2-1/2 mini-loaf  – bake for approximately 50 minutes (check mini-loaf at 35 minutes).
  • Six 5×2-1/2 mini-loaves and one 7-1/2×3-¾ loaf for approximately 50 minutes (check mini-loaves at 35 minutes).

Allow bread to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a rack. 

This is one quick bread that could easily be a dessert.  It’s rich, chocolatey, moist and full of crunchy nuts.  But the most important thing to me in 1987 was that it used 2 cups of zucchini.

My picture was taken for the fair’s publication, “The 132nd Annual Hamilton County Fair Salutes its 1987 Best of Show Winners”.  (I had won Best of Show with three different items that year.)


Fresh Corn-Zucchini (Squash) Relish

cornOver twenty years ago when my husband and I lived in rural Ohio on the Indiana border with a huge vegetable garden, I tried a lot of recipes to deal with the surplus produce.  In 1985, I found this recipe for Fresh Corn Zucchini (or Yellow Summer Squash) Relish in a cookbook called, “Seasoned with Sunshine”.  I made it on July 21 and the next week entered it in our Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati).  It won a blue ribbon and became a family favorite.

Since I’m by myself now in a small bungalow with no garden, I pick up produce at the farmer’s market and make one quart of the relish.

  • Servings: 1 quart (2 pints)
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  • 2 cups fresh corn, cut from cob
  • 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 cups zucchini or yellow summer squash, unpeeled, sliced 1/4″ thick (cut larger diameter slices in half)

squashbwl2In a large pot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT ZUCCHINI/YELLOW SQUASH.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

first

Add zucchini/squash slices and simmer uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

zucch

Spoon relish into sterilized jars – one quart or two pint jars.  Relish can be kept in the refrigerator for use within a month or so, or processed in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes for longer storage. 

funnel

2jars

I could refrigerate the two pint jars for my own use, or even more fun, keep one jar and make up the second one for a neighbor.  It’s easy to dress up the giveaway jar with a circle of fabric placed between the jar cap and lid.  Yes, I think I like that idea best.  Now, which of my neighbors would enjoy some relish today?

topper

Mediterranean Zucchini Casserole

Back when we lived in lovely Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border, I spent my whole summer trying to make good use of all the tomatoes and zucchini my husband planted and harvested.  In 1995, I found a recipe in the newspaper that used a lot of zucchini, tomatoes and basil to make a big 9×13 pan of Mediterranean Zucchini Casserole.  I have a note in my recipe binder, “Large amount, but David and I ate 3/4 of it for supper along with hot rolls and a tossed salad.  Excellent.  We both liked this.”

Now that I’m alone, I cut the recipe down to fit a 9″ pan and still ate on it for three days.  It was delicious each day.  The good part about this dish is that there is not a lot going on to interfere with the fresh flavors of the vegetables and basil and the baking time allows the vegetables to be at their tender best.  I only make this casserole in the summer when I can use good farm market vegetables and my own fresh basil.

MEDITERRANEAN ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I use Laura’s Lean 4% fat beef)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grind or two of black pepper
  • 3 slices of sturdy bread (I use homemade Italian bread)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 medium zucchini cut into 1/4″ thick slices (3 cups)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute the ground beef, onion and garlic until beef is done and onion is tender.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tear bread into chunks and put into food processor with basil leaves.  Process until crumbs are fine.

Oil bottom of 9″ baking pan.  Arrange half of zucchini in the bottom of the pan, spread half of cooked meat/onions/garlic over the zucchini.  Top with half of tomato slices.

Sprinkle half of the bread cumb mixture over the tomatoes.  Drizzle olive oil over the top.  Repeat with layers of zucchini, tomato, crumbs and olive oil.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for one hour.

Sit down and enjoy the flavors of summer!

Blue Ribbon Zucchini Marmalade

For 20 years, we lived in a rural area where my husband delighted in tending a huge vegetable garden.  He liked to grow zucchini because he got such great results.  Prior to moving to the country, I had cooked zucchini once when I was in my 30s because a kind Italian neighbor lady had given me some and raved about how good it was.  I wish I could have told her how much experience I got later in life with her favorite vegetable.

Trying to keep up with the zucchini my husband brought into the kitchen daily, I fixed it every conceivable way.  My sister-in-law from Somerset, Kentucky, gave me this recipe for using SIX CUPS of the stuff, so I made several batches.

MOCK ZUCCHINI MARMALADE

  • Servings: 8 half-pint jars
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  • 6 cups peeled, seeded, chopped zucchini
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 6 oz. package Jello (I used banana-strawberry)

Combine zucchini, sugar and lemon juice in large pan.  Bring to boil and let boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 15 minutes of boiling time, add the drained pineapple, bring to a boil and boil for 6 more minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in Jello.  Place in sterilized half-pint jars, cap and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  Let cool on a rack before storing.

Makes eight half-pint jars.

This is a good web site for information on canning and preserving foods.

We all enoyed the “marmalade” and I decided to enter it in the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair in 1984.  I was thrilled and surprised when it won not only the Blue Ribbon, but the Best of Show Rosette. 

Zucchini or Yellow Squash Relish

In the 20 years that we had a country home, my husband had a huge garden where he harvested every kind of vegetable but was especially fond of growing zucchini and yellow squash.  I was overwhelmed with the quantity of produce and as a novice at country living, felt I had to use every single zucchini in the bottomless basket that he brought in every day.  I found a lot of recipes and this is one of my favorites – a sweet/sour relish that I made in large quantities and canned for the coming winter.

Now, that my husband has passed away and I’m living in a little bungalow with a small yard, I pick up my produce at the grocery store or farm markets and make a small amount of relish at a time – in this case, 1-1/2 pints.

ZUCCHINI OR YELLOW SQUASH RELISH

  • Servings: 1-1/2 pints
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  • 2-1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
  • 2 Tblsp. pickling salt

BRINE:

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

FOR THICKENING RELISH

  • 1/2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tblsp. white vinegar

In a medium sized bowl, combine the zucchini/squash, celery, onion, red pepper and pickling salt.  Cover and let set at room temperature at least 8 hours.

Drain vegetables, rinse and drain again.

In a large sauce pan, combine the BRINE mixture:  3/4 cup vinegar, sugar, celery & mustard seed, and turmeric.  Bring mixture to a boil, then add the drained vegetables.   REMOVE FROM THE HEAT AND LET STAND FOR 2 HOURS.

Return the pan to medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the thickening ingredients:  Cornstarch and vinegar mixed together.  Let relish simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes.

Pour relish into sterilized jars and cap.  Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  I’ve found an asparagus steamer is good for processing just a few jars.  Let jars cool on a rack before storing.  Allow relish to cure for a week before using for best flavor.

This is a good web site  for information on canning and preserving foods.

Optional:  Add one-half of a medium dried red pepper to the jar after filling.  This “hot” version won a 2nd place ribbon at the Hamilton County Fair (Ohio) in 1988.

Yield:  1-1/2 pints