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  • Writer's pictureElaine

Zucchini Relish

September's bountiful zucchini, shredded up skin and all and synergized with onion, dices of brightly colored peppers, and a sweet syrup into a relish reminiscent of diner hot dog topping but ooooo la la so much better. It's like vegetable candy. 🤣

This recipe is shamelessly ripped from The Reluctant Entertainer and I am grateful to her.

She says:

"It’s not spicy–it’s very sweet. And delicious on tuna sandwiches...with goat cheese or cream cheese, as an appetizer!"

As vegetarians we recommend it with cheeses, potato salad, breads and chips, black beans, hummus, and of course eggs.

I double the original recipe and here is my adaptation:

I like to use 1/2 pint jars for this relish. The little 1/4 pints are a fun "picnic size" and are nice for a gift basket or picnic lunch. This recipe makes approximately 26 half pints.

  • 20 zucchini, grated (about 20 medium)

  • 8 cups Vidalia onions, grated (about 6-7 medium)

  • 10 Tbsp salt

  • 2 large yellow and 2 large orange bell peppers, seeded and chopped

  • 4 small jars pimientos

  • 5 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 8 cups sugar

  • 2 Tbsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 Tbsp ground turmeric

  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

The trick is in the brining. The night before (or at least 12 hours before), shred the zucchini and onions. You can use a food processor, which I do for the eye-ouch painful onions, but I shred the zucchini by hand. I just enjoy the hand work. Use the food processor if time is an issue.

As for efficiency, the night before is also a great time to get the jars, lids and screw tops into the dishwasher so they are sterilized and ready for your water bath canning.

Add the salt to the shredded zucchini and onions, mix it up, cover, and brine it at a temperature no warmer than 70°.

After 12 hours, drain the vegetables. Rinse thoroughly. Drain again. Then squeeze the water out by the handfuls (like you do after defrosting spinach) so that the vegetables are dry.

In the meantime, create the syrup. Mix up the apple cider vinegar, sugar and spices. Heat until all the sugar is incorporated. These are such delicious spices!!

Core and dice the peppers into a uniform small dice. Trim the bitter white pith off the inside of the pepper wall before dicing. Details!!

Have your water bath canner ready to go.

Toss the veggies, the drained pimentos, and diced peppers into the syrup and bring to a boil, lifting to stir frequently so there is no burning.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and boil gently, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced and mixture is the consistency of a thick commercial relish, about 30 minutes. I set a timer.

Ladle into jars, you know the drill about wiping the rims and setting your lids and screw tops...seal and water bath for 15 minutes.

This September relish might just rival July's famous Sweet Corn Relish for popularity. We will have to take a poll.

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