Refrigerator Pickles – Horseradish, Ginger, and Zucchini

I love horseradish. So, when I saw horseradish root at the grocery store, I had to buy it. We’ve used it to make home made cocktail sauce and to add kick to a marinade. But a piece of horseradish root is pretty big and what the heck do you do with that?! My solution – pickle it. Besides, pickles are a great appetizer or flavorful addition to a salad.

Pickling involves using brine of some sort (generically water and salt, sometimes vinegar). I like to make refrigerator pickles – they’re easy to prepare and can be ready in as little as 24 hours; though, I like to let mine sit for 1 – 4 weeks. The longer you leave what you are pickling in the brine, the longer it has to absorb the flavor of the brine.

To balance out the flavor of the horseradish and tone down it’s pungency, I opted to add some ginger root and sweetner to the brine.

Pickling is also useful for utilizing almost turned produce. This is where the zucchini comes in. Here, I make garlic dill chips from zucchini instead of cucumbers.

For these recipes, you’ll need:

Brining solution
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. salt (this depends on how salty you like them)

Horseradish Pickles
Horseradish root, 1/4 c. sliced into discs
Ginger root, approx. 1 1/2″ cut into discs
2 tsp. sweetener (I used Splenda – but you can use Stevia, honey or agave nectar)

Horseradish and ginger root - Pickling

Zucchini Pickles
4 small zucchini, sliced into discs about 1/8″ thick
1/4 medium onion, roughly diced
3 cloves of garlic, thickly sliced
1 1/2 T. whole corinader seed
1 T. whole mustard seed
Fresh dill

Zucchini for pickling

 

First, prepare your brine. This is super easy. Add the water, vinegar and salt to a small saucepan. Heat the brine solution until the salt dissolves (this doesn’t take long, just a few minutes).

Brine - picklingBrine - ready to use for pickling

Fill a small jar with sweetener, the horseradish root and the ginger root. Alternate slices of horseradish root and ginger root to ensure that the flavors mix well.

Next, add the brining solution to the brim of the jar and cap the jar. Place the jar in the refrigerator for at least one week.

The horseradish really mellows out but the ginger maintains it’s bite.

Pickled horseradish and ginger root

The zucchini pickles proceed much the same way but we have to add some ingredients to the jar first. I reused a store bought marinara sauce jar (cleaned of course!). Add the coriander seed and mustard to the jar. Next add the garlic, onion and dill. Stagger the zucchini slices in the jar and fill to the brim with the brining solution. Cap the jar and invert a few times to mix the contents.

Zucchini pickles

Place the jar in the refrigerator for 1 -4 weeks. For these, I really enjoy them after 4 weeks.

Feel free to get creative with your pickling. I’ve pickled beets, green beans, tomatoes, banana peppers and cucumbers. While I almost always use coriander seed and mustard seed, I change up the type of vinegar I use (apple cider and even red wine vinegar) and the spices.

For example, I don’t like sweet pickled beets but savory pickled beets rock. I used fresh thyme, onion, cumin and garam marsala with golden beets. I’ve also made Thai curry green beans by adding some red curry paste, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh basil. I even once attempted Old Bay green beans – that was not a success. but it was fun playing 🙂

Share your pickling endeavors with me, I’d love to hear about them 🙂

Enjoy!

– Nicole

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