‘Tis the season for bounty from the garden; and, while many gardens seem to have a LOT of zucchini, there really is just so much zucchini bread or cake or oven fried sticks or summer-y salad with olive oil, onion, and crushed red pepper.
Sometimes, you just have to pickle the buggers.
SO. Why not a relish? But let’s not make it too, too sweet, right? Mebbe a relish with a bit of horseradish and jalapeño, No?
•9 cups diced zucchini
•6 cups diced sweet onion
•3 cups diced red bell pepper
•1 cup diced green pepper
•2 jalapeños, diced*
•1/3 cup pickling salt
•2-1/2 cups sugar
•2-1/2 cups white vinegar
•2 tsp nutmeg
•1 tsp allspice
•1 tbsp turmeric
•1/4 cup prepared horseradish
*If you’d like a milder relish, remove the seeds from the jalapeñoes.
Note: when handling hot peppers, it is advisable to wear gloves (one itchy nose while chopping taught me this lesson); I keep a box of disposable food-safe gloves (available in most supermarkets) for just this purpose.
Combine zucchini with the onion, red and green bell peppers, and the jalapeño in a large bowl or non-reactive pot and stir in the pickling salt until everything is well mixed.
Cover and set aside to rest for six to twelve hours – there will be a fair amount of liquid after the resting period.
Turn the rinsed, drained, and pressed veggies into a large non-reactive (stainless steel. enamel, or anodized aluminum) pot and add the sugar, vinegar, spices, and horseradish.
Reduce the heat to medium (about a three on my gas range’s six setting scale) and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced and you have a nice, thick relish.
Ladle the hot relish into prepared canning jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
This batch yielded six 12 ounce jars of thick, zippy zucchini relish.