I’m coming to the conclusion that one can pickle anything. Even winter squash. The process is simple, and the result delicious! The most difficult part is cutting up and peeling, or peeling and cutting up the squash. Most pickling recipes I researched used butternut, mainly, I believe, because it peels so easily. There are multitudes of variation in winter squash pickling–raw or steamed, sweet, sour, sweet-and-sour, spicy, herbed, plain. Here’s a recipe I like making because it’s not overly sweet.
3 c or so peeled, seeded, fibers removed, diced winter squash
1 fresh or dried chile, sliced or not, seeds removed or not
1 garlic clove, optional
1 bay leaf
1/2 c vinegar–apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red win vinegar, rice vinegar…
1/2 c water
1/2 – 1 t black peppercorns
1/2 t mustard seeds
1 t sugar
2 t kosher salt
1. Put diced squash, chile, garlic, and bay leaf in a quart or liter jar, or other glass container with a lid.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, peppercorns, mustard seeds, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and gently heat, just until the sugar and salt have dissolved. You shouldn’t have to bring it to the boil to accomplish this.
3. Pour pickling liquid into the jar to cover the squash. Leave an inch headspace. Let cool to room temperature. If the squash refuses to stay submerged, crumple some waxed or parchment paper and stuff in the headspace. Put a lid on and refrigerate for a week before eating.