Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sweet Zucchini Relish


This recipe is a homage to my inlaws, both master gardners who spend the entire summer tending their vegetables and canning the harvest.  The first time I tried zucchini relish was at their house. This is my own recipe. It's sweet with a spicy kick and delish mixed in tuna salad, on grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and hotdogs, and on grilled salmon.  

8-10 zucchini (enough for 10 cups shredded zucchini)
2 medium sweet onions like Maui or Vadilia
2 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6-8  8oz canning jars with lids and rings (sterilize in the dishwasher and don't remove until ready to use)

Grate the zucchini using the large holes on the grater. 
Chop all the remaining vegetables to a fine dice.  (I use a food processor to do all of the chopping and grating.  My processor has an attachment for grating. When chopping I use the standard blade.  Use the pulse button so the vegetables don't turn to mush.)

Place all of the vegetables and the salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 8 hours at room temperature.

Rinse and drain the vegetables. Rinse and drain again. Squeeze out all the excess water. 

Bring all the remaining ingredients to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the vegetables and simmer for 20 minutes until thick. 

Pack the relish into the prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe off the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel to remove any residue.  Top with lids and rings. 

Place rack in the bottom of a large stock pot or canning pot and fill halfway with water.  Bring to a boil.  Carefully lower the jars into the water using a pot holder, leaving a 2 inch space between the jars. 
Pour in more water if necessary so that the water level is at least 1 inch over the tops of the jars. Bring the water back to a  full boil and cover the pot, and process for 30 minutes. 

Remove the jars from the pot and place on a dish cloth several inches apart. Let the jars completely cool.  

Once cool, press the top of the lid with your finger to ensure that the lid is tight. The lid should not move at all. If it does, reprocess the unsealed jars, or place in the refrigerator and use immediately.