Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles

You don't need any canning equipment to make these easy pickles - just a few jars and about 20 minutes. They're fresh and tasty and have just a hint of spicy kick.

3 cups water

1 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup honey

4 pint jars

4 small bay leaves

12 sprigs fresh cilantro

4 large garlic cloves, bruised and halved

4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon mustard seed

4 whole dried chili peppers, or 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 pounds young yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced into thin rounds

1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onions

In a saucepan, combine water, vinegar, kosher salt, and honey. Over low heat, stir until the salt dissolves and the honey melts into the brine. Bring to a boil, then cover and set aside.

Place 4 pint jars on your work surface. Into each jar, put 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs of fresh cilantro, both halves of 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds, 1-1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed, and 1 dried chili pepper or 1-1/2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes. Divide the two pounds of sliced squash and the sliced onions evenly between the four jars.

Pour the hot brine into the jars, pressing down on the veggies so that the brine covers them completely. Put lids on the jars and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate the pickles for at least four hours. Overnight is even better...and if you can manage to resist temptation for two days, they'll have full flavor.

Keeps in the fridge for two months, but they probably won't last that long!

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