Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Zucchini Relish

You didn't think I would mention zucchini relish and not give you the recipe, did you? I'm not a big relish person, but years ago my stepmother made this and I haven't had a hot dog without this relish since. In fact, I ran out over a year ago and I had to make some more because I was craving hot dogs. Must have been something about July 4th.

It's not a complicated recipe.

First step is grind up your vegetables. Having been several years since I had made this recipe, I had forgotten how I achieved the proper texture. It is not with the grinder on my Kitchenaid, I can tell you that. And it's not with the grater either as that makes shredded looking pieces. I discovered this only after dirtying up all the mixer parts and messing up half the counter. (Sorry, I don't have a picture of that.) The Cuisinart does the trick, just pulsing until the pieces are small, but still intact. You don't want onion slush for this project.

Once grated, they go into a colander and get sprinkled with salt. Then you leave them overnight to drain in the sink. You can temporarily drain into a large bowl, but put them back over the sink for most of the time. I left mine for over 12 hours to get as much moisture out as possible.

On day two all the spices and dry ingredients get mixed up and cooked with the vinegar. It is best to use an enameled pot as the tumeric will stain stainless steel and I don't know what it would do to aluminum. Add the vegetables, cook it all down for 30 minutes, and then it's time to can it.

Make sure your jars are sterile. I had kept mine in the basement, so they got washed twice - once by hand and once on hi-temp wash in the dishwaser. Also sterilize your lids in a pan of boiling water and dry them before they go on the jars. There are lots of resources online with the specifics for properly canning foods. If you don't want to go to the trouble, just give jars out to family and friends and be sure they put them in the fridge right away.

Of course, the sweet sound of popping lids as the jars cool is music to any cook's ears. All but three of mine popped, so these were the first I gave away at my July 4th gathering.

10 cups ground zucchini (about 5 pounds)
4 cups ground onion
2 bell peppers, ground (I used one green and one red for some color)
2-3 Tablespoons salt
4 cups sugar
2.25 cups white vinegar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon tumeric
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon celery seed
0.5 Tablespoon black pepper

Cover vegetables in colander with salt. Drain overnight.
Heat other ingredients. Add vegetables and cook for 30 minutes.


debd said...

My mother in law made the first zucchini relish I had ever had...That is now the only type of relish we have in our house. We make some at least every other year...can't live without it...

thanks for sharing; I too love the sound of those jars popping!

free indeed said...

We are another household that hasn't bought store bought relish for over 20 years! I use cukes and zucchini interchangeably, depending on what's being prolific in the garden. Yum! Need to make me some strawberry rhubarb jam in the morning or I'll lose my strawberries...