Sometimes inspiration strikes in the weirdest places like when you are pushing a cart full of delicata squash down the pickle aisle in Trader Joe’s. You see, I am more than slightly obsessed with delicata squash and Todd is equally obsessed with all things pickled and packed in brine. So, since the only place in town I can seem to find delicata squash is TJ’s I had to stock up this weekend. They also carry jalapeno stuffed olives which are Todd’s favorite so I knew while I was there I had to grab a few bottles. As I stood there debating whether to get 2 or 3 jars of olives I found myself eyeballing the pickles.
If you knew me personally than you would know that I have a true fear of pickles, mainly the big chunky dill pickles, I dislike them with every fiber of my being. Weird, I know, but it’s a real thing…when I was little I had an altercation with a batch of giant dill pickles that we won’t discuss, but it spurred nightmares of pickles chasing me and though you may be laughing at me now I assure you that if giant dill pickles were chasing you in your dreams you wouldn’t want to eat them either. Back to my point, I was eyeballing the pickles just to let them know that I was watching them when it occurred to me that my beloved delicata squash would probably blow Todd’s mind as a pickle. I could layer thin slices of delicata pickles on his sandwiches for lunch or chop them up in his salads the possibilities seemed virtually endless and a pickled delicata squash for some reason doesn’t seem nearly as scary to me as a giant dill pickle.
Basically what I am trying to say is that out of love for my husband I pickle things and according to him I am pretty darn good at it. Imagine that, the girl that is terrified of pickles is good at making them! When I was brainstorming flavors that would meld nicely with the slightly sweet flavor of the delicata squash I immediately thought of garlic, poblano peppers, and thyme. I don’t know why, it just popped into my head, so I went with it. I made a quick batch of pickles for my pickle loving husband and then for lunch the next day I blew his mind with a lovely bean and rice bowl that was made up of my fast and smokey black beans, heirloom pepper infused rice, tomatillo salsa, a few slices of pickled delicata squash and poblano peppers, toasted pepitas, and fresh cilantro. I have never seen the man quite as happy about his weekend lunch which made me conquering my fear of pickles well worth it.
- 2 cups white vinegar
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 sprigs of thyme, plus more for jars
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large delicata squash
- 1 large poblano pepper
- Combine the vinegar, water, peppercorns, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, garlic, 4 sprigs of thyme, and the bay leaves in a medium sized non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, once boiling immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.
- While the brine is simmering, slice the ends off of the delicata squash and use a long handles spoon, I used a tea spoon, to gently scrape out all of the seeds from the squash. Alternatively, you can slice the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then slice the squash very thin, about an ⅛ of an inch, with a mandoline or a very sharp knife. Use a knife to slice the pepper into thin rounds as well, then layer the squash, pepper rings, and a few additional sprigs of thyme into clean canning jars leaving about a ½ inch of room at the top of the jar.
- Once the veggies have been packed into the jars carefully pour the hot brine over the veggies until it covers by a ¼ inch. Place the lid on the jar and allow to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
- This recipe will make approximately 1½ liters of pickles depending on how big your veggies are.The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
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