Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Zucchini Relish

A delicious relish to top your next burger or hot dog made with garden fresh zucchini.

This delicious zucchini relish is on my to do list every year when canning season rolls around and zucchini is in season.  For some reason (I can’t remember why exactly) I didn’t get a batch made last year and well before the barbecue season has ended we ran out.  I actually had to resort to buying some relish from the grocery store – you know that bright green, unnatural looking stuff that has very little flavour.  Once you have had this delectable tasting relish, the store bought kind just won’t do.

My relish tradition came about many years ago when a neighbour gave me several zucchini from his garden.  As this was not a vegetable that ever made it into the house when I was a kid, I wasn’t even aware of the versatility of this little squash.  The zucchini from my neighbour had grown to huge proportions and to be honest, I had no idea what to do with it.  My coffee buddy came to the rescue and gave me this zucchini relish recipe from her mother.  Even zucchini that has been left on the vine too long can be used here.  It may be necessary to remove the pulpy middle and seeds first before you chop away.  Turmeric is the spice that gets added at the end giving the relish a yellow colour.  I suppose you could use a food colouring if you like the look of really green relish, but trust me, it is so delicious that you will not even notice that is not bright green.
You begin with chopping all your vegetables.
A food processor makes the chopping go very quickly.  Remove the ends of the zucchini, cut into large chunks and pulse a few times to get a coarse chop.

Dump all the chopped vegetables into a large dutch oven, sprinkle with coarse salt and let sit for about two hours.  In this next photo, you can see how much moisture has been drawn from the vegetables after sitting for about one hour.  Then transfer to a colander, rinse several times and drain out as much liquid as possible.

A mixture of sugar, vinegar and spices are added to the dutch oven and brought to a boil.  Add in the vegetables and simmer for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Continue with the rest of the recipe and your delicious relish is ready to go into sterilized canning jars and then processed in a hot water bath.

With all home preserving, it is important to follow safe canning procedures.  Here some links with lots of helpful information on the process.
A full batch of zucchini relish now housed in my cupboard ready for next year’s barbecue season!! Although it’s perfectly fine to use some now, the flavour will get better if you can let it age for a few weeks which is the tough part.  We had to dig into a jar right away and it was perfectly tasty, but three weeks later, it was relish perfection!!

Zucchini Relish

by notjustgrilledcheese

Keywords: canning American

Ingredients (4 pints)

  • 10 cups finely chopped zucchini (2 very large or 11 regular)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon water


In large bowl, combine zucchini, onion and peppers; sprinkle with salt. Stir to distribute salt through vegetables. Let stand 1 to 2 hours, stirring every once in a while. Drain into a colander; rinse thoroughly under cold running water and drain again pressing out as much water as you can.

In large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, pepper and turmeric. Bring this mixture to a boil. Add the drained and rinsed vegetables and return to boil, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low and simmer relish, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick.

In small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and 1 tblsp water and mix into relish. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is clear, about 5 minutes. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/8" headspace. Seal immediately.

Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Label and store in cool place.

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