Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wondering what to do with all of your extra Zucchini?? Why Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Relish thats what!
Ask anyone who has planted Zucchini, and you'll find that you're always left with so much extra you don't know what to do with it. Well in our family we will usually make a lot of bread and freeze it, shred a lot of it and freeze it for Zucchini Bread when our loaves run out, and we make Zucchini Relish.
Zucchini Relish is just like sweet pickle relish, except much better!
What you'll need:
1 Giant Zucchini, 3-4 onions, 2 red jalapenos, 1 big green bell pepper, canning salt, cornstarch, vinegar, sugar, turmeric, ground mustard seed, , celery seed, pepper.
Usually, I get out my food processor with the grating blade on. You can grate the Zucchini all by hand, it just takes FOREVER!
I put the knife next to the Zucchini so you can kind of see the size.
You'll want to cut off both end of the Zucchini.
Turn it on one end and cut it into quarters. Be extra careful! You can so easily slice thru and cut yourself.
Then I turn my Food Processor on and put the quarters in to grate.
It will fill up quickly!!!
Measure out 10 Cups of shredded Zucchini and put them in a BIG bowl.
Then you will want to peel, and quarter your Onions.
(Side note: I've made this before with Red onions, it turns out a lot prettier then with white. I just had white onions from my garden I needed to use.)
Put them thru the Food Processor, just like the Zucchini.
Add 3 cups of the shredded Onion to the Zucchini.
Then add 5 T of CANNING SALT. Not regular table salt!
Mix it all up, so the salt gets in everything!!!
Once it is very well mixed up, you will want to cover the bowl, and place it in your Refrigerator for 8-10 hours. I will usually make this before I go to bed at night so it's ready for me in the morning.
The reason you soak it, is salt draws out any of the extra moisture in the zucchini and onion.
In the morning you'll grab out your colander and pour the Zucchini & Onion mixture into it.
Fill your colander with COLD water to rinse all of the extra salt, and juice out of the Mixture. It will take a little bit for all of the water to drain out. So while that is draining, I start making the brine.
Pour 2 cups of Vinegar into a stainless steel Pot. I used Apple Cider (because its what I had in my Pantry), but you can use Distilled or Apple Cider Vinegar. I've used both before without any problems.
Pour another 3/4 cup of Vinegar into a small bowl.
Add 1 T of Cornstarch.
Mix it in until all of the lumps are smooth. Make sure it all gets mixed in. Set aside.
To the pot you added the vinegar to, you are going to add:
1 T Turmeric
1 T Ground Dry Mustard Seed. (you can use the same amount of Mustard whole seed if you don't have ground)
1 T Celery Seed. also about 1/2 t fresh ground pepper. I just forgot to take a picture of it.
To that you will also add 5 Cups of Sugar.
You'll also add the cornstarch vinegar mixture to the pot.
Mix everything together and turn the heat to medium-high.
While the pot is heating up...
You're rinsed Zucchini should have drained and will look like this.
You will want to rinse it again with COLD water. I usually mix it around with my hands the second time to make sure it thoroughly gets rinsed. I'll leave it to drain while my pot gets boiling.
Then I start chopping up the rest of the veggies for the relish.
Finely chop up the bell pepper. Add it to the colander of draining Zucchini.
This is OPTIONAL.
We like a little spice in our family. If you do as well you will want to put on a pair of Gloves, and cut the tops off and half the Jalapenos. Take out the seeds using a spoon.
I use Red Jalapenos because it just adds a little color. You can use green as well, they will just blend in to the final relish.
Finely slice the jalapenos length wise.
Then finely dice them in the opposite direction.
While the Zucchini is draining, I just add the bell and jalapeno pepper to the top. They all get added at the same time so it won't hurt anything to put them on top. Plus it saves a clean bowl. When it comes to clean up, I try to prevent as many dirty dishes as possible.
Once your brine starts boiling and your Zucchini has drained I set my counter up like this.
Add the pepper & zucchini mixture to the pot a little at a time and mix it in after each addition.
This is what your mixture should look like. You'll bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it starts to boil you'll set your timer for 30 minutes. Continue to stir it frequently during this time so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom.
After about 15 minutes this is what it will look like.
After the 30 minutes are up this is what it will look like.
While the mixture is cooking I get my jars out of my dishwasher, put boiling water on my lids and bands; and get everything else set up and ready to go.
Whenever I am making anything, I always have a couple of extra sterile jars of various sizes out. If you don't have enough to fill one pint jar, its nice to have that half-pint jar handy & ready to go.
Ladle them into the jars. Wipe the rims then.....
Use your lid grabber to put your bands and lids on. I tighten them until they are finger tight.
I process these in a Boiling Water Bath Canner for 10 minutes.
When they come out this is what they will look like.
Then all ya need to do is start up your grill, make some burgers and hot dogs and you're set!