This week I went back and read one of my favorite cookbooks, The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. The Zuni Café has exerted a strong influence in the restaurant world since the early nineties. If you look in any chef’s cookbook library you are likely to see this book, dog eared and well worn.
These pickles are especially popular. If you look, you’ll find them adorning some of the best burgers in town. I’ve seen them used at Zefiro, Blue Hour, Castagna, Ripe and others.
Zuni Café Zucchini Pickles
1 pound zucchini
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
1 ½ crushed brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Slice the zucchini and onion 1/16th inch thick. Place the Zucchini and onion in a large bowl and toss with salt. Cover them with water and ice cubes and let soak for one hour. After an hour, drain the zucchini and onions and dry them between towels or in a salad spinner.
In a sauce pan combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric. Simmer for three minutes. Once the brine has cooled combine it with the zucchini and onions and let them soak in the brine overnight. The pickles will be crisp and bright chartreuse in color.