As the summer comes to an end and the last zucchini are being harvested, this is the perfect time to make some pickles or, our favorite, some zucchini relish. This year we found 2 particularly large zucchini that had grown unnoticed under the large canopy of leaves. Because of their size, you only have a few options. You could add it to muffins, bread, or cakes. You could also stuff it, but how much stuffed zucchini can you eat? So using it to make some relish for the cold months is another great solution! It is the gift that keeps on giving. It has the perfect balance of sweet and salty and it makes a great gift too.
What does it go with
Basically, any dish that you would use pickles, like pizza, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, with pan-fried potatoes, etc. It is so good that you can eat it right out of the jar too! We used it with our meatless meatball sub and it was epic!
What vegetable to use
In addition to zucchini, you want some onions to add some bite, orange and yellow peppers for color and crunch. We rarely use green peppers because they aren’t as nutritious as red, orange, and yellow pepper and they are harder to digest. Some mild chiles are a good addition. That’s the basic recipe but you can add some finely shredded carrots, or other vegetables as long as they are finely cut. Get creative and let the colors guide you!
You will need to sweat the zucchini, peppers, and onions overnight with canning salt. You want to draw out as much moisture as you can. So, start the night before is a good idea. In terms of herbs and spices, you can have fun making different batches, one that is mild for the whole family, one that packs some heat by adding chili powder or chipotle, etc. That’s the beauty of making it from scratch, you are in control of the result and you know exactly what went into making it! And as we often say, “you can’t buy this stuff!”
A lot of liquid is produced overnight! So you need to drain, rinse and drain again.
Note: I experimented using squash instead of zucchini and it pretty much turned into mush overnight or it needed less sweating time so be advised!
Easy Zucchini Relish
- Large bowl
- 10 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 large onions sliced (yellow or white)
- 2 orange or yellow peppers thinly sliced
- 2 red peppers thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp canning salt
- 1.5 cup sugar (white or raw)
- 2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper
Sweat the vegetables
- Place the shredded zucchini, sliced peppers, and onions in a large bowl and sprinkle the canning salt. Mix well and cover overnight.
- Drain the liquid, rinse the salt, and drain again.
Season the relish
- Pour the sugar, cider vinegar, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper in a large pot and simmer for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the vegetables and cornstarch and stir well to coat everything. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Fill prepared mason jars and steam in canner for 12-15 minutes. The recipe should yield about 5 pints of relish.