As much as I’d like to be able to take credit for this rather popular recipe, I have to be honest and give all the glory to the wonderful Stephanie Alexander. I’ve been making these pickles from her gigantic cookbook, The Cook’s Companion, for quite a few years now (typically at Christmas; often as gifts) and they never, ever fail to impress. I also have to admit I have no idea why they are called bread & butter pickles, but they definitely taste good as an accompaniment to both of those ingredients, so perhaps that’s the reason.
In our house we typically enjoy these tangy morsels with sharp cheddar cheese, smoky ham, crackers or fresh sourdough baguette. They would also be right at home in a delicious rye bread sandwich.
1kg small zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal
3 white onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup fine salt
3 cups white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tsp ground tumeric
Toss the zucchini and onion with salt in stainless steel bowl, then cover with cold water and leave for 1 hour. Drain and rinse in a colander, then return the drained vegetables to the bowl.
Combine the vinegar, sugar and spices in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. Pour over the zucchini and onion mix and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, transfer the pickles to sterilised* jars and use within 2-3 months.
To sterilise your jars, first wash them thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse, then place right-side-up on a tray in a low oven (140°C) and leave to completely dry out (approx. 15 minutes). If your jars have a rubber ring inside the lid, remove this before placing in the oven. Carefully remove from the oven and fill immediately.