Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Make Sweet Zucchini Relish | A Recipe to Pickle and Can Zucchini

how to make zucchini relish

We usually think of only cucumber pickles, but technically speaking pickling includes any fruit, vegetable, or meat prepared using a pickling process. Pickling involves either fermenting in a brine solution (a salt solution), or packing in vinegar for food preservation. Most foods can be pickled, but because of the salt, or vinegar, pickling most often involves vegetables.

This zucchini relish recipe uses a brine to assist in the crispiness of the pickled zucchini, but it is not fermented. A spicy vinegar solution is used to preserve the zucchini and peppers. A small amount of brown sugar is used to sweeten the relish. It tastes much like the sweet pickle relish we eat on hot dogs, but zucchini is used instead of cucumbers.

Similar recipes may call it, "sweet summer squash relish." Zucchini is the most common type of summer squash and is sometimes referred to as simply, "summer squash."


How to Make Sweet Zucchini Relish

  • 2 cups shredded or chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sweet green pepper
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Chop the peppers and onions. Shred, or chop, the zucchini. A food processor works well for chopping and shredding the vegetables, but it can also be done by hand.
  2. Place the vegetables from the step above in a very large bowl. Sprinkle the vegetables with the 2 tablespoons of salt. Fill the bowl with cool water until the vegetables are completely covered. Let the zucchini and peppers stand in the brine solution for 2 hours.
  3. Drain the vegetables and rinse thoroughly with water. Combine the sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, and vinegar in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the chopped vegetables. Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Makes four half-pints. This canning recipe may easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.


How to Can Zucchini Relish

Ladle the hot zucchini relish into jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar. The jars should be sterilized before filling. You can do this by boiling the jars, or simply washing them in a dishwasher on the hottest water temperature setting. The easiest way to prevent spills on the rim of the jar while filling is to use a jar funnel. Spills on the rim of the canning jar may interfere with the seal.

If there are air bubbles in the jars, run a clean rubber spatula around the sides of the jars to remove the bubbles. Screw on sterile lids and rings. These can be sterilized in the same ways as the canning jars. Process the jars of canned zucchini relish in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Enjoy your summer zucchini harvest all year long by preserving it as your own homemade sweet zucchini relish. This canned relish recipe makes an excellent gift for friends and family or a special addition to holiday meals.

More Pickle Canning Recipes



Zucchini Relish Photo: Heather Schulte
"Ball Blue Book of Preserving." Jarden Home Brands. 2005. Muncic, IN 47305.

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