I've never been a great fan of relish. I'm not sure why. I guess I just never saw a need for it. Ketchup and mustard were all I needed on a hot-dog or burger. Mountain Man however loves relish. So, for the last who knows how many years I have continued to avoid purchasing it and he has asked, "Is there any relish?" anytime we have burgers or hot-dogs. Then I ended up with a bumper crop of zucchini. He can't stand the stuff and although I have found ways to stuff it in recipes, short of taking it to my neighbors in the dead of night and leaving it on their doorsteps I had to find a way to use it up.
I would probably have gone with the dead of night leavings but figured the neighbors would realize it was me anyways and just bring it back as I have offered it to everyone I meet. Then while thumbing through an old Company's Coming cookbook I came across a recipe for zucchini relish. I was making burgers and salad for dinner and Mountain Man just happened to ask for relish... again... finally a light went on in my fuzzy canning addled brain. Relish! Zucchini! Yes! I can do that! So I did. The results were nothing short of amazing. I love this stuff! What was I thinking? Relish is fantastic!
There were some things I did change just a bit. The recipe calls for everything to be ground. How do you grind vegetables? I don't have a way to do that so spent a lot of time chopping everything really small. It was time consuming but very worth it. I also doubled the recipe and used one less cup of sugar than called for.
10 cups zucchini, ground with peel on
4 cups onion, ground
5 tablespoons course pickling salt
2 small green peppers, seeded and ground
2 small red peppers, seeded and ground
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons celery seed
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 teaspoons dry mustard powder
3 teaspoons turmeric
3 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Start by grinding, or in my case chopping really small, the zucchini,
Can you just picture me crying for 1/2 an hour? Thankfully I noticed my eyes quit watering after that even though I was still chopping. Hey! Those little spuds were slippery!
Now place the onions and zucchini in a large bowl or pot and add the pickling salt. Cover it and let it stand on the counter over night.
Then drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and turn into a large sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Heat on a medium to high heat until it boils. Make sure you stir it often. Boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.
Pour into hot sterilized 1/2 pint jars to within about 1/4 of an inch of the rim.
Wow! I sure am messy!
Process in a boiling water bath adjusting for altitude. 10 minutes for 1/2 pints, 15 minutes for pints.
Place on counter to cool for 24 hours before moving to storage.
Now, finally when Mountain Man asks for relish I can say a resounding Yes! This is a pretty big recipe, you will end up with anywhere from 10 to 12, 1/2 pint jars.
Also seen on: Deborah Jean's Dandelion House