Please welcome guest blogger, Lindsay Jewell from My Own Ideas, who joins us today to share this colorful zucchini relish recipe. I can’t wait to try this one myself!
Everyone who grows zucchini plants knows that when the season is at its peak it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the volume of your harvest, and to forget how much you’ve been looking forward to fresh zucchinis all year long. To prepare for what I like to call the month of zucchinis with minimal waste, I’ve managed to collect a few tried-and-true recipes that I use each year to help me get through our bounty, bit by bit, until it has all been effectively consumed or preserved.
One of these recipes is for zucchini relish, which I originally found in the Ball Blue Book last year. Not knowing quite what to expect after encountering this recipe for the first time, I went ahead and made a large batch that I sent out to my friends and family to try. Happily, my zucchini relish was a huge hit, even with folks who generally steer clear of pickles or relishes, and I’ve been getting lots of requests to make it again this year.
Honestly, any recipe that’s able to utilize this many zucchinis while being this tasty is a winner in my book. And the best part? It looks beautiful in the jar, more so than most other canned goods, with reds and greens that make it the perfect gift to give for Christmas once the spices have had time to ripen and affect the flavor.
To make your own zucchini relish, you’ll need:
- 4 cups diced zucchini
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons celery seed
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 4-5 sterilized pint jars, lids, and bands
Combine the diced zucchini, onion, green bell pepper and red bell pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and stir to combine. Fill the bowl with cold water until it just covers the mixture. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight).
Remove from refrigerator and drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorn, red pepper flakes, and cider vinegar over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables. Stir, and bring to a boil once more. Remove from heat.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop the vegetables into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Pour the syrup over the vegetables until they are completely covered, still leaving about ¼ an inch from the top of the jars. Insert a clean chopstick or skewer into the jars to remove air bubbles, and wipe the rims. Add the bands, screw on lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Remove from boiling water bath, and place on a towel-lined counter until jars have cooled to room temperature. Check seals, and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
I like to let my jars sit unopened for at least a month so the spices have time to ripen. Once I’m ready to give them away, I decorate them with twine and labels from My Own Labels. For these particular jars, I used sunflower colored tags and labels in the style Filigree.
Lindsay Jewell is a regular contributor to My Own Ideas, a spot where you can find all sorts of recipes and creative ideas for dressing up homemade goodies like canning, baking, wine and more. Be sure to visit Lindsay and the other fabulous crafters there for just about all the inspiration you can handle.