Make a big batch this zucchini relish this summer, and spice up your sandwiches, burgers or hot dogs.
As a nutritionist, I certainly appreciate food for the good things (or not so good things) it does for our bodies. Health stuff aside though, I’ve always said one of the biggest reasons I love food is for the memories it makes for everyone.
Food plays such an important role in so many aspects of life. Every holiday, season, birth, death – people celebrate or mourn with food. I think it’s especially amazing how sometimes just a taste or smell or the act of making a certain food will remind you so much of someone you love, or miss.
This recipe I’m sharing today – Zucchini Relish, is from my friend Jill. She makes it in the summer, when there’s so much zucchini you don’t know what to do with it. It reminds me of visiting her Cape Cod house in Orleans, and packing sandwiches at the kitchen counter to take to the beach. There’s always a big jar of this zucchini relish in her refrigerator to add to the sandwiches.
She told me for the longest time she couldn’t bring herself to make it because it reminds her so much of her dad, who she lost unexpectedly and far too early. They always made it together in the summer, probably to put on sandwiches to eat at the beach.
I actually posted this recipe on this blog several years ago, but it’s one of my most popular recipes on Pinterest, so I thought I’d share it again for anyone who’s a newer reader.
I retested it and tweaked it a bit, mainly to cut down the liquid, based on some of your helpful comments. I also added some jalapeño for a bit more spice – if you don’t like it very spicy, feel free to leave it out.
Since this relish isn’t processed, it should be kept in the refrigerator, but it should keep for several weeks. It also makes a lovely hostess gift, if you’re lucky enough to get an invite to someone’s beach house 🙂
Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Relish
- 2 1/2 pounds zucchini ends trimmed and cut into slices (about 10 cups)
- 3 large vidalia or other sweet onions sliced (about 4 cups)
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper seeded and sliced
- 3 medium jalapeno peppers seeded and sliced
- 3 Tablespoons kosher or pickling salt divided
- 6 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Place zucchini in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and pulse until it's chopped into very small pieces. Place chopped zucchini into a large colander.
- Repeat with onions, and then peppers. Place all vegetables into the colander, and toss with about 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well to combine vegetables and salt, and let sit in the colander for at least 30 minutes to release some of their liquid.
- Meanwhile, mix together remaining ingredients in a large stockpot, and bring to a boil.
- Add vegetables and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
- When liquid is cool, ladle relish with some of the liquid into sterilized jars, and seal tightly.
- Discard any extra liquid, or use for another pickling project.
- Refrigerate relish for at least 24 hours, and for up to 4 weeks.
Do you have any favorite food memories?
If you make this recipe, drop me a line and let me know, or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @CravingSomethingHealthy!