Homemade Zucchini Relish Recipe ♥

Homemade Zucchini Relish, a perfect way to use up giant zucchini from the garden.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's vegetable recipe: A thick zucchini relish, almost a zucchini jam, with a bite of pepper.

~recipe republished 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

Free food: think 'monster' zucchini and 'prolific' peppers. This time of year, free food makes its way into our kitchens where we become its steward, charged with 'no waste' and looking for recipes to use up large zucchini and piles of peppers. With this recipe for zucchini relish, I made good use of two extra-large zucchinis, each one weighing 2+ pounds and still only Size XL beside a four-pound Size XXXL.

The zucchini relish recipe is 'tried and true' – it came from my friend Linda who got it from her friend Kathie who got it from her mother-in-law who got it from, well, you know. Grating and chopping takes a good hour, then the vegetables rest for three hours before getting cooked and processed in canning jars.

The relish is sweet, almost enough to be called a 'zucchini jam' but still, leans to the savory side. It's got some bite too, thanks to a good measure of black pepper which shouldn't be skipped. It's thick and good for spreading (as photographed, on bread atop feta cheese, say). The color is beautiful! The carrots and red peppers stay bright and colorful, the zucchini takes on the amber color of turmeric. Yes, I really like this stuff!

KATHIE'S NOTES "I had an 80-year old neighbor who put it on all her sandwiches (said it stimulated her appetite) and always wanted me to sell the relish. For Christmas, my siblings ask for relish, nothing else. I think the turmeric makes it special."

FUNNY PAGES My friend Stephanie from the St. Louis food blog Iron Stef has the funniest picture ever of one of those big honkin' zucchinis that emerge from gardens this time of year. Be sure to check out her Zucchini Baby.

COMPLIMENTS!
"... the zucchini relish is becoming famous here too... I made my first batch in August, and my pots just flew out of the door ..." ~ Kathleen
"... nothing but rave reviews. The kids are eating it by the spoonful and the neighbor has polished off three jars." ~ Anonymous

HOMEMADE ZUCCHINI RELISH

Hands-on time: 60 minutes up front, an hour or so to can
Time to table: 6 hours
Makes 8 or so pints but can be canned in half pints if preferred

VEGETABLES
15 cups grated zucchini, from about 4 + pounds of fresh zucchini
1 pound carrots, grated
6 cups chopped onion, from about 5 onions
8 sweet peppers, a mix of red and green, chopped (I used 2 red, 6 green)
1/3 cup table salt (Linda's sister suggests using pickling salt)

Mix these together in a very large bowl. Let stand at least three hours. (This batch stood overnight.) Drain in a colander or wrap in cheesecloth so the excess liquid can be squeezed out.

LIQUID & SPICES
3 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
3 teaspoon celery seed
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch stirred into a little cold water to make a paste

Mix ingredients in a very large kettle, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add drained vegetables and bring to a boil. Let cook just a few minutes, until liquid is mostly gone. Transfer relish into sterilized jars and seal. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
LARGE ZUCCHINI Large zucchini can be seedy and spongy in the centers -- cut this out before grating. If large pieces of skin get through the grater, pull these out, they'll likely be tough. The small slivers cook fine, however.
USE THE FOOD PROCESSOR? Grate the zucchini and carrots in the food processor. Onion and peppers get mushy in the food processor so should be chopped by hand.
VINEGAR Apple cider vinegar is preferred because it's gentler and more fruity but I used plain white vinegar and it was fine.
CANNING TIPS Even though I've done a lot of canning, I always review my own practical home canning tips before getting started on a new batch. There's always something to forget, otherwise!


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from A Veggie Venture

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from Kitchen Parade

Looking for healthy ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous Alphabet of Vegetables. Healthy eaters will love the low carb recipes and the Weight Watchers recipes.
© Copyright 2008, 2014

9 comments:

Just in time, this recipe, as the zucchini glut has begun! In fact, I'm expecting to get home later tonight to find piles of zucchini on my front porch, as more than one friend has emailed while I've been on vacation to say that she is dropping off a few zukes... and you know what "a few" means!

Hi Alanna,

I came across your blog about a year ago. I just love all the recipes and checking my mail to find a new one!

I'm also on the WW program, and though we count our points slightly different, your recipes are so easy to fit in!

I just wanted to let you know that the zucchini relish is becoming famous here too... I made my first batch in August, and my pots just flew out of the door. My mother-in-law is making it herself (and she is not a foodie), her neighbour got a taste of mine, and almost stalked me for a translation in Dutch, LOL.

Last week I took a can of it to my WW-leader (my third batch and probably last, giant zucchini-out-of-the-garden season is over) and she claims she is addicted ...

Anyway I'm taking the recipe to my next WW-meeting, so I guess there will be a lot of new addicts too...

Hi Kathleen - What good news, it will so please my friend who shared the recipe (after getting permission from HER friend, the one she'd gotten it from, because well, you know, if you share a recipe with me it just might get blogged ...).

Thanks so much for sending the news -- and the pictures! Your jars look just beautiful!

Wow I tried this recipe and had nothing but rave reviews. The kids are eating it by the spoonful and the neighbor has polished off three jars. I even like it and I don't normally use relish on my burgers.

When you let the veggies rest, do you put them in the refrigerator?

Hi Anonymous ~ Mine didn't go into the fridge, in fact, the huge bowl I used wouldn't even FIT into my fridge! Let me know how your batch goes!

I have a bunch of raw shredded zucchini in the freezer right now and I was thinking about trying this recipe. Do you think it will work with the frozen zucchini or should I stick to fresh?

Hi Anonymous, Wow, what a question. You've got the zucchini, it must be tempting to use it up and not many recipes do call for so much. And yet it's a lot of work to put up a relish.

Here's what I'd do. I'd see how "fresh" the zucchini seems after it thaws. If there's any hint of freezer burn, I'd go for the fresh. If it seems fresh, then I'd go for it.

I hope you'll let me know how it goes!

Wow! This zucchini relish are amazing!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna