Skull Cucumber Pickles

Look closely at those cucumber pickles. Who says candy and sweets get to have all the fun on Halloween? Get your kids to down just a few vegetables before they head out to Trick-or-Treat (and begin the inevitable sugar overload) with this quick-pickled make-ahead salad. We sliced carrots, fennel, squash, and cucumber, then used a pairing knife to trim each cucumber slice into an adorable miniature skull. A simple solution of vinegar, chile, sugar, salt and water pickles the vegetables in the fridge, so you can make this concoction days (or even up to a month) beforehand. It’ll get spicier (and spookier!) over time.

halloween-pickles
Photo by Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley
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  • Makes 2½ cups
  • Hands-On Time
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Look closely at those cucumber pickles. Who says candy and sweets get to have all the fun on Halloween? Get your kids to down just a few vegetables before they head out to Trick-or-Treat (and begin the inevitable sugar overload) with this quick-pickled make-ahead salad. We sliced carrots, fennel, squash, and cucumber, then used a pairing knife to trim each cucumber slice into an adorable miniature skull. A simple solution of vinegar, chile, sugar, salt and water pickles the vegetables in the fridge, so you can make this concoction days (or even up to a month) beforehand. It’ll get spicier (and spookier!) over time.

Ingredients

  1. Check 1 English cucumber, sliced
  2. Check 1 cup rice vinegar
  3. Check ½ red chile (such as fresno), sliced
  4. Check 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. Check Kosher salt
  6. Check 2 carrots, sliced
  7. Check 1 small yellow squash, sliced
  8. Check 1 small fennel bulb, sliced

Directions

  1. Cut a small curved wedge from 2 sides of each cucumber slice to create a skull shape using a pairing knife. Poke holes in the top (wide end) of the cucumber to create the eyes using the flat end of a wooden skewer. Draw three thin lines below the eyes to create the mouth using the pointy end of the skewer.
  2. Combine the vinegar, chile, sugar, 2½ teaspoons salt, and ½ cup warm water in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cucumber, carrots, yellow squash, and fennel. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 1 month.