Sweet Pickle Relish
If you have a garden overflowing with cucumbers, this classic relish is a good way to use your bumper crop. You can dice the vegetables in a food processor or by hand. If you opt for the food processor, don’t overprocess them or the relish will lose its chunky texture.
- 2 1/2 lb. cucumbers, finely diced
- 1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Rio Sweet, finely diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. celery seeds
- 1 Tbs. brown mustard seeds
- 2 tsp. whole allspice
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and bell peppers. Pour the salt over the cucumber mixture, add enough cold water to cover and stir gently to mix. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours or up to 1 day.
Have ready 4 hot, sterilized one-pint jars and their lids.
Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander. Rinse thoroughly and drain again. Transfer to a large nonreactive saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Place the allspice on a square of cheesecloth, bring the corners together and tie securely with kitchen string. Add the cheesecloth bag to the cucumber mixture and stir to mix well. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Discard the cheesecloth bag.
Ladle the hot relish into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 4 one-pint jars.
Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).