Garlic-Onion-Dill Zucchini Pickles

03 Sep

A great way to store your zucchini crop long-term! This pickle recipe is seasoned with diced onions, whole garlic cloves, lots of dried dill, and a homemade pickling spice.

-By Carrie (Strommen) Lennie


Fresh zucchini cut into about 36 spears
1 small onion, diced
12 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 Tbsp dried dill
2 tsp mustard seed
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp dried oregano

8 ½ cups water
2 ¼ cups white vinegar
slightly less than ½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar

6 pint-sized Ball (or other canning) jars with new lids
Large kettle to cover jars with water and boil
Large pot
Medium pot
Large bowl
Small bowl
Long tongs or jar-grabber (Ball makes these too)
Magnetic Lid-Lifter is nice to have too


  1. Start with washed jars. Remove lids and rings and set the jars in the kettle. Cover jars with cold water so that they are between 1 and 2 inches below the surface. Place the lids and rings in the large bowl and set aside. Bring the kettle to a boil on the stove over high heat.
  2. In the meantime, mix together mustard seed, turmeric, and oregano in the small bowl. Set aside. Then mix the brine ingredients in a large pot on the stove until all the salt and sugar have dissolved. Don’t start boiling the brine until the jars begin to boil.
  3. When the large kettle begins to boil, set a timer for 10 minutes to ensure the jars are sterilized. Bring a separate medium pot of water and the brine to a boil over high heat. The medium pot of water will be poured over the lids and rings that are waiting in the large bowl in order to sterilize them, so make sure to have enough boiling water to cover them.
  4. At the end of the 10 minutes, the jars will be sterile. Pour the separate pot of boiling water over the lids and rings now. Leave the jar kettle boiling, and using your tongs (or Ball jar-grabbers) carefully remove each jar, dumping out all water, and place them on a clean dish towel on the counter. Be very careful not to contaminate the jars. At this point I usually put the clean funnel and other utensils I will use to touch the food into the large kettle of boiling water to sterilize them too.
  5. Place 2 garlic cloves and 1 Tbsp of dried dill in each jar being sure to use a clean Tbsp to prevent contamination (don’t use your hands if you can help it). Divide the spice mixture from the small bowl evenly across all six jars. Put about 1 Tbsp of the diced onion into the bottom of the jar. Then pack the jars with the pickle spears. You should be able to fit about 6 spears in each jar.
  6. Now use the sterile ladle and funnel to fill your jars up with the boiling brine. Leave about ½ inch of space from the top. Use the handy magnetic lid-lifter to pull the lids from the hot water and to place them on top of the jars. If you don’t have a lid-lifter, you can use tongs. Just be careful not to touch the lids with your hands. Do the same with the rings and use a pot-holder glove to tighten the lids.
  7. Place the jars back into the boiling water. Be careful – now that the jars are full you may need to remove some of the water so it doesn’t spill over the top of the kettle. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. When finished, remove the jars back onto the dish towel and let cool on the counter. It can take up to a couple hours for all the lids to pop down, which means they are properly sealed. If any of the lids are still popped up, they will need to be refrigerated and eaten within a week or two – they will not be shelf-stable.
  8. For jars properly sealed, they will be good for at least a year (probably longer). Wait at least a week before opening the jars so the flavors all have a chance to meld.
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Sauces-Condiments


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