Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zucchini Relish

As much as I love many zucchini recipes, there is something very special about zucchini relish.

Being a hard nosed traditionalist at times--I still haven't forgiven the people who are responsible for putting out the remake of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album back in the 70's--so it's no surprise that I was more than just a little sceptical about anyone even considering replacing the beloved pickling cucumber in pickle relish with something they grew too much of in the garden that year. That was until I found myself standing in those garden clogs looking down at the bumper crop in our garden with no end in sight. But what was the worst that could happen? It would turn out to be something absolutely awful and I would never make it again, ripping that page out of my canning book! Humble pie never tasted so delicious!

10 cups chopped zucchini (if very large, remove seeds)
4 large onions
4 green bell peppers cleaned and seeded
4 red bell peppers cleaned and seeded
1/2 cup salt
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Grind all vegetables using the coarse blade of a food grinder or use food processor.
(If using the latter, be careful as you want to maintain a coarse texture.) Put the ground vegetables in a stainless steel bowl or crockery. Add salt and keep vegetables submerged by weighting with a plate. Let stand overnight.
The next day, drain off the brine and rinse with water. Drain again and squeeze out excess water by hand.
Mix cornstarch with sugar and spices and add to vinegar in a pot large enough to hold the liquid and vegetables. Heat liquid to boiling and stir until syrup is clear.
Add vegetables and simmer 30 min.
Pour into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Put on lids and bands and process in hot water bath (185f/85c) for 15 min.

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