This delicious relish tastes almost exactly like traditional hot dog or sweet relish, but is made with summer squash instead of cucumber. Zucchini crops are notoriously prolific, and this is a great way to use some of that abundance!
Recipe can be doubled.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Overnight in refrigerator: 24 hours
Total Time: 25 hours
Yield: 3 half pint jars
4 cups finely chopped zucchini or other summer squash (from 4 - 5 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup peeled and finely chopped onion (from 1 - 2 medium large onions)
- 1/2 cup seeded and finely chopped bell pepper (from 1 bell pepper)
- 2 tablespoons kosher or other non-iodized salt
- 1/2 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or ClearJel
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
Slice of the stem and flower ends of the squash and compost or discard them.
Chop the squash very finely, or pulse a few times in a food processor. Transfer the finely chopped squash to a large, non-reactive bowl (no aluminum).
Peel the onion and slice off the ends. Slice off the stem ends of the bell pepper and remove the seeds (you can use a red or orange bell pepper for extra color). Finely chop the onion and bell pepper, or pulse a few times in a food processor. You want the vegetables to be in tiny pieces, but not totally pulverized into a puree. Add the onion and bell pepper to the squash in the bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of kosher or other non-iodized salt to the vegetables and mix well. If that seems like a lot of salt, don't worry: you'll be rinsing most of it off later. The salt is there to draw water out of the vegetables, a step that results in better texture and flavor in the finished relish.
Cover the bowl of vegetables and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Transfer the vegetables to a finely meshed sieve or strainer and let them drain for a couple of minutes. Rinse them well with cool water and let drain again. Get out even more of the liquid by squeezing with your clean hands (squeeze hard), or by pressing the vegetables against the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon.
Whisk the cornstarch or ClearJel into the cool or room temperature vinegar. Stir in the spices and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to help dissolve the sugar and prevent lumps.
When the syrup is boiling and becoming translucent, add the vegetables. Simmer the relish for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scoop the relish into clean, hot canning jars leaving 1/2-inch of head space. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Screw on canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Once the jars are processed and sealed, zucchini relish will keep at room temperature for up to 1 year. It is still safe to eat after that, but the quality will decline. Once opened, store the jars in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, skip canning the jars in the boiling water bath and instead put them into the refrigerator. The relish will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
The flavor will be even better if you can wait a week before eating the relish.