July 4, 2020

Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish

Janine Pineo Photo | Zucchini Relish

I can’t remember exactly how long this recipe has been kicking around the family cookbook, but I’ve been making it for as long as I’ve been making pickles, which would be about three decades.

It is absolutely the best relish you can find, especially on a hot dog or hamburger. You’ll find it on the table when we serve baked beans, but don’t limit it to traditional New England dinners. It goes well with many meals and can be treated like a pickle, just in relish form.

Inevitably, I have more zucchini than the basic relish calls for. I know this because I have notes on how to make a batch and a half, which makes 12 pints, usually right on the nose. Therefore, the basic recipe ought to make 8 pints, which might see you through until next year.

Steam rises from the cooking Zucchini Relish.

Janine Pineo Photo | Steam rises from the cooking Zucchini Relish.

Zucchini Relish

12 cups ground-up zucchini
4 cups ground-up onions
1 sweet red pepper, ground
1 green pepper, ground
5 tablespoons salt

Mix ground vegetables together with salt and set overnight (at least 8 hours) in an enamel kettle. After that time, rinse with cold water (don’t overdo it, you’re just rinsing some of the salty brine away) and drain well.

Rinse the kettle and put 3 cups of vinegar in it to heat.

Meanwhile, make a paste of:

6 cups sugar
3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
enough water to form a paste

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly before adding the water a little at a time to form the paste.

Stir the paste into the boiling vinegar. Cook it until it thickens, then add the ground vegetables.

Cook and stir often – very often – for 30 minutes over moderate heat. Can in sterilized jars at once.

Sterilizing the jars: Boil jars and lids for 10 minutes before filling the jars. Make sure to wipe the jar rim with a damp, clean cloth to remove any relish or liquid which could prevent the jar from sealing.

– Janine Pineo