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.Print
Delicata Squash and Poblano Pickles (Gluten Free and Vegan)
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 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 1/8 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 1/2 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 1/4 inch. Place the lid on the jar and allow to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
- This recipe will make approximately 1 1/2 liters of pickles depending on how big your veggies are.The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.