|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This delicious relish tastes almost exactly like a traditional hot dog or sweet relish but is made with summer squash instead of cucumber. Not only is it a great addition to any barbecue, but it's also an ideal end-of-summer gift, especially when presented in a decorative jar. And for visual appeal, you can use a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper for extra color. You'll enjoy this unique way to make the most of a bounteous zucchini crop!
- 4 cups zucchini (or other summer squash, finely chopped)
- 1 cup onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup bell pepper (seeded and finely chopped bell pepper)
- 2 tablespoons salt (kosher or other non-iodized salt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (or ClearJel, a modified food starch that is an excellent thickener)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 dash black pepper
Slice off the stem and flower ends of the squash and compost or discard them.
Chop the squash very finely, or pulse a few times in a food processor. Transfer the finely chopped squash to a large, non-reactive bowl (no aluminum).
Peel the onion and slice off the ends. Slice off the stem ends of the bell pepper and remove the seeds. Finely chop the onion and bell pepper, or pulse a few times in a food processor. You want the vegetables to be in tiny pieces, but not totally pulverized into a puree. Add the onion and bell pepper to the squash in the bowl.
Add the salt to the vegetables and mix well. If it seems like a lot of salt, don't worry: You'll be rinsing most of it off later. The salt is there to draw water out of the vegetables, a step that results in better texture and flavor in the finished relish.
Cover the bowl of vegetables and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Transfer the vegetables to a finely meshed sieve or strainer and let them drain for a couple of minutes. Rinse them well with cool water and let drain again. Get out even more of the liquid by squeezing with your clean hands (squeeze hard), or by pressing the vegetables against the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon.
Whisk the cornstarch or ClearJel into the cool or room temperature vinegar. Stir in the sugar and spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to help dissolve the sugar and prevent lumps.
When the syrup is boiling and becoming translucent, add the vegetables. Simmer the relish for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scoop the relish into clean, hot canning jars leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Screw on canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Once the jars are processed and sealed, zucchini relish will keep at room temperature for up to 1 year. It is still safe to eat after that, but the quality will decline. Once opened, store the jars in the refrigerator.
If you prefer, you can skip canning the jars in the boiling water bath and instead put them into the refrigerator. The relish will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months. And the flavor will be even better if you can wait a week before eating the relish.