Monday, August 8, 2016

Relishing Zucchini

Okay, okay, I know. By now you don't even want to see the word "zucchini", much less eat it. So far this summer I've made zucchini ratatouille, zucchini chips, two kinds of zucchini boats, zucchini bread, frozen zucchini, and plunked zucchini into any possible casserole whether it calls for it or not. 

But what if you could save your zucchini for this winter and spring, when you'll be wishing your (or your neighbor's) garden was still going strong? Two words - ZUCCHINI RELISH.  
Our daughters with some of the bounty from our garden in Maine.

Last time I made this relish, we lived in Maine and had a huge garden. About 35 years ago. 

But I still have the recipe in my recipe box (do young people even bother with those any more?) and this summer I dusted it off since we had so much zucchini. It's still so yummy and surprisingly easy. Plan ahead - you'll be shredding on Day 1 and cooking and canning on Day 2. 

And if you've never canned before, don't worry. Water bath canning isn't hard at all.

You need enough zucchini to make 12 cups grated, and four cups of chopped onions.

A food processor will make the job much faster.

Put the shredded zucchini and chopped onion in a large bowl, big enough to stir it around.

Add 5 T. salt and stir well. Cover and let it stand overnight.

The next day, rinse the squash/onion mixture well in a colander. Mix it in a large stockpot with all the other ingredients, and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. 

Here I'm boiling the jars to sterilize them. Then I'll pack the hot relish into the jars and seal them in a hot water bath. This recipe makes 5-6 pints of relish.
 Canning in a hot water bath isn't hard to do. You'll need jars, rings, and lids, which are readily available. The main concern is to make sure everything is sterile when you put the food into the jars. I follow the directions in the Joy of Cooking cookbook and have never had a problem. Click here for the Ball Company canning instructions.  I found another excellent post on water bath canning here.

The final result is delicious and looks so pretty in the pantry. 
The Recipe
Zucchini Relish
12 cups grated zucchini
4 cups chopped onions
5 T. salt
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 t. dry mustard
3/4 t. nutmeg
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 t. celery seed
1/2 t. pepper
3/4 t. tumeric
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped green pepper

Mix onion and zucchini with salt. Let stand overnight. Rinse well in a colander. In large pot or kettle, mix all ingredients. Cook 30 minutes over medium heat. Pack in hot jars and seal.
Yield: 5-6 pints

Relish your zucchini relish!


  1. oh thanks for a super idea! we got a truckload of zucchinis from our neighbor and ate them for a whole week... and then the neighbor brought a big box again.... think that's the perfect recipe for all that green guys :o)

    1. Wow your neighbor must be inundated! You'll have to share the recipe with them :)

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  3. That looks really good. As a kid, when we had too many my Dad would put a bag of them on someone's porch, ring the doorbell and run!

    1. Haha! That's awesome - and so much better than throwing them away!

  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you are so smart to can. I never learned how, I know sinful for a 100% Southern gal. As far as I know no women in my family canned. LOL
    I remember one summer have Zucchini and strawberries taking over the yard.
    Hugs madi and mom


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