Judy’s Pickled Squash


Once you start making them, you begin to see pickle potential in just about everything. That—and an overabundance of fast-growing yellow squash—is what inspired my sister, Judy, to make these unusually gratifying sweet squash pickles. I call for yellow squash here, but you can use any kind of summer squash, from Sundrops and pattypans to zucchini.


2 pounds small yellow or other summer squash, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 red or green bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 cups sugar
2 1⁄2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds

1. Place the squash, onion, and bell peppers in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain, covered, for about 1 hour at room temperature. Do not rinse.

2. If preserving the pickles, sterilize four 1-pint heat-tempered canning jars. Tightly pack the squash, onion, and peppers, alternating layers of vegetables, in the hot jars, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of headspace to ensure a proper seal.

3. Combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, and celery seeds in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, for about 1 minute. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables, maintaining the 1⁄2-inch headspace.

4. For refrigerator pickles, seal the jars tightly and refrigerate for 2 weeks to allow the flavors to develop before serving. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, or for up to 1 month. For preserved pickles, process in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes to vacuum-seal. Let cool to room temperature, check the seal, and store in a cool, dark place until ready to serve, or for up to 6 months. Refrigerate after opening.