Pickled Kabocha Squash

You can find more recipes like this in our Sourcebook!

This recipe is worth a try when fall or winter rolls around and you can find squash at the farmers market or in your CSA box. Use these tangy winter-squash pickles to dress up a cheese platter; as an alternative to cranberry sauce at the holiday table; or tossed in a salad with quinoa, arugula, walnuts, and goat cheese. You can also substitute butternut squash or sugar pumpkin for the kabocha.
This recipe will make one pint or two 1/2 pints. 
  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 1 1⁄2pounds)
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1⁄2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon canning salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick

1.Start heating the water in your canning pot. (See complete canning instructions on page 38 at beginning of chapter.)

2. Peel the squash and remove the inner seeds and strings. cut the flesh into 12-inch cubes.

3. Place the peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaf in a small muslin bag or cheesecloth and tie securely.

4. in a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, and spice bag. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

5. Add the squash chunks to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the squash until the chunks are translucent and fork-tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Funnel the squash into the sterilized jars, and cover with the syrup that remains, leaving 12 inch headspace. Wipe the jars clean and place the lids on the jars. Process in the water bath for 15 minutes.

7. Remove the jars from the pot, place them on a kitchen towel to cool completely, and then store in a cool, dark place. These pickles are best if allowed to rest for 2 weeks to let the flavors meld before eating.

8. Continue storing the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. once opened, store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

TIP: Due to the low acidity and thick texture of pumpkins, they are no longer considered safe to home can. However, it’s okay when vinegar, sugar, and spices are added and the dense veggies swim in an acidic brine.

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