In the 20 years that we had a country home, my husband had a huge garden where he harvested every kind of vegetable but was especially fond of growing zucchini and yellow squash. I was overwhelmed with the quantity of produce and as a novice at country living, felt I had to use every single zucchini in the bottomless basket that he brought in every day. I found a lot of recipes and this is one of my favorites – a sweet/sour relish that I made in large quantities and canned for the coming winter.
Now, that my husband has passed away and I’m living in a little bungalow with a small yard, I pick up my produce at the grocery store or farm markets and make a small amount of relish at a time – in this case, 1-1/2 pints.
ZUCCHINI OR YELLOW SQUASH RELISH
- 2-1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
- 2 Tblsp. pickling salt
- 3/4 cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
FOR THICKENING RELISH
- 1/2 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tblsp. white vinegar
In a medium sized bowl, combine the zucchini/squash, celery, onion, red pepper and pickling salt. Cover and let set at room temperature at least 8 hours.
Drain vegetables, rinse and drain again.
In a large sauce pan, combine the BRINE mixture: 3/4 cup vinegar, sugar, celery & mustard seed, and turmeric. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the drained vegetables. REMOVE FROM THE HEAT AND LET STAND FOR 2 HOURS.
Return the pan to medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add the thickening ingredients: Cornstarch and vinegar mixed together. Let relish simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes.
Pour relish into sterilized jars and cap. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. I’ve found an asparagus steamer is good for processing just a few jars. Let jars cool on a rack before storing. Allow relish to cure for a week before using for best flavor.
This is a good web site for information on canning and preserving foods.
Optional: Add one-half of a medium dried red pepper to the jar after filling. This “hot” version won a 2nd place ribbon at the Hamilton County Fair (Ohio) in 1988.
Yield: 1-1/2 pints