Monday, July 16, 2012

Pickle Relish

I've been getting plenty of cucumbers and canning one or two pickle recipes a week.  With plenty of dill and bread and butter pickles made up, last week it was time to do a batch of relish.

Cucumber Relish
Makes about 6 pints or 12 half-pints
8 cups finely chopped cucumbers
8 cups finely chopped bell peppers (half green and half red is nice, I didn't have any reds ready)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup canning salt
3 cups white vinegar
2 1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp celery seeds
3 tbsp mustard seeds

1. Chop your cucumbers, bell peppers, and onion.  Combine in large stainless steel or glass bowl.  If your cucumbers have big seeds, you may want to seed them.  I have tried using a food processor to chop and the pieces ended up too fine and the relish was too mushy, so I prefer to chop by hand even though it takes forever.

2. Mix pickling salt in with the vegetables, cover and let sit in a cool place for 4 hours.
3. Pour veggies into a colander, rinse with cool water and let drain thoroughly.
4. Prepare canner, jars and lids (visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation if you don't know how)

5. In a large stainless steel pot, combine vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, and mustard seeds.
6. Stir well and bring to a boil.
7. Add vegetables and bring back to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil gently until vegetables are heated through, about ten minutes.
8. Fill jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (for both half-pints and pints).
After I chopped cucumbers all day, I still had some leftover, so I made more dill pickles.  I sliced these length-wise so I'd have good sandwich slices.  I highly recommend a mandolin (ours is a cheapie, works just fine) if you're going to slice things like this on a regular basis.  Makes life much easier!

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