Sunday, November 16, 2008

Summer Squash Relish

Making squash relish out of your bumper crop zucchini and yellow squash is a great way to preserve your harvest. Squash relish is delicious served along side any southern meal. 
Anyone who has a garden and has planted summer squash knows by summer's end that you usually have zucchini and yellow squash coming out of your ears.  Zucchini is one of the most plentiful veggies you can plant in summer garden and at times they seem to grow overnight. 

Pretty soon you start to run out of things to make and find yourself searching for new ways to incorporate all that summer squash. There is always the basic recipes,  zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, brownies or as a side dish, but have you ever tasted Squash Relish?  

The first time I tasted this delicious relish was at my Mother in laws house. I love zucchini and yellow squash so I gave it a try and I have loved it ever since! Even my oldest son likes it and that's hard to believe. This colorful relish compliments any southern meal and is wonderful to have on hand. Making and canning squash relish is also a great way to preserve your harvest. 

The hardest part about this whole recipe is chopping up all the vegetables, especially the onion, but after that it came together quite easily. If you have a food processor, it will go even faster. Canning season is finally coming to an end and I have plenty of canned goods to put up for winter. Save a couple jars for over the holidays because they make wonderful gifts from your kitchen. Let's get started and I will show you how easy this recipe came together.  

First wash, rinse and sterilize 8 pint size canning jars. Add water to your hot water bath canner and bring the canner to a boil. Place the jars into the canner and keep them warm in the hot water bath canner until the jars are ready to be filled. Cut and chop the zucchini, yellow squash, peppers and onions. 

Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup canning salt. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables. Soak for 1 -2 hours then drain and and thoroughly the squash mixture thoroughly under under colder and then drain the mixture using a strainer. Set the mixture aside; 

In a large stock pot add the sugar, vinegar, water, bay leaf and pimentos (if using) and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves. Add the squash and veggie mixture and simmer for and additional 10 -15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.  

Ladle the mixture into hot, sterilized jars. Divide any remaining brine into each of the jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean dish cloth that has been dipped in hot water and make sure any liquid is wiped off the rims of the jars. Add the lids and rings to the jars and finger tip tighten. Don't tighten the jars too much or the lids will buckle when processed. 

Lower the jars into the hot water bath canner and process the jars (10 minutes for pints and 5 minutes for half pint jars).  Remove jars from hot water bath canner and place on the counter lined with a dish towel to cool. Listen for the jars to ping and test the lids to make sure the jars have sealed. 





Summer Squash Relish

10 - cups zucchini and yellow squash, diced
3 - cups onion, chopped
3 - cups bell pepper chopped (us a combination of colors)
1/2 - cup kosher or canning salt
2 - cups white or apple cider vinegar
1 - cup water
3  - cups sugar
1 - large bay leaf 
1 - small jar pimentos, optional
2 - teaspoon mustard seed
2 - teaspoon celery seed
sterilized jars, lids and rings
hot water bath canner

Wash, rinse and sterilize 8 pint size jars. Add water to a hot water bath canner and bring the canner to a boil. Place the jars into the canner, reduce heat and keep the jars warm in the canner until the jars are ready to be filled. 

Cut and chop the zucchini, yellow squash, peppers and onions. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup canning salt. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables. Soak for 1 -2 hours then drain and and thoroughly rinse vegetables with cold water in the strainer. Set aside. 

In a large stock pot add the sugar, vinegar, water, bay leaf and pimentos (if using) and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves. Add the squash and veggie mixture and simmer for and additional 10 -15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.  

Ladle the mixture into hot, sterilized jars. Divide any remaining brine into each of the jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean dish cloth that has been dipped in hot water and make sure any liquid is removed from the rims of the jars. 

Add the lids and rings to the jars and finger tip tighten. Don't tighten the jars too much or the lids will buckle when processed. 

Lower the jars into the hot water bath canner and process jars, 10 minutes for pints and 5 minutes for half pint jars.  Using a jar remover, take the jars out of the hot water bath canner and place on the counter lined with a dish towel to cool. 

Listen for the jars to ping and test the lids to make sure the jars have sealed. Leave the jars on the counter for 12 hours. Then test again to make sure all the jars have sealed.  

Store the jars into a dark, cool pantry for storage. Relish will store up to a year if stored properly. Give the relish about a week or two before opening and serving. 

recipe yields 8 - 9 half pint jars or 4 -5 pint size jars 
recipe source: Louise Butler







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16 comments:

Stephanie said... #

My mom made something similar to this to use up all her extra zucchini. It's a delicious way to use it!

Anonymous said... #

Oh, that looks good, however I'd have to leave out the onions!

I've only been canning a couple years, and just found out I can reuse the rings! I've been throwing them out!

tam said... #

Beautiful Christmasy colors too! Thanks-love it!
Thank You for sharing that!
~Tam :D

Ann said... #

This look delicious and I love all the colors.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Tina my friend. Another great idea for Christmas gift giving. A gift from the heart. Zucchini Relish is perfect for anyone. Thank you sweetie. I'm dying to see what other ideas you come up with for the holidays.

BTY, yes, Tamales are a tradition for Christmas. I would feel like something was missing if I didn't have at least a dozen steaming on the stove.

Anonymous said... #

Looks delicious. Thank you.

Laura said... #

You've been tagged. Look at my blog for details.

Chrissie said... #

I know you use cucumber relish on hot dogs but what would you put the zucchini relish on? Any ideas?

Anonymous said... #

Just made the green tomato relish and it tasted so good before I put it in the can. Thanks for the wide variety of recipes and step by step advice. It made it fun and I learned a lot from doing it. I'll be trying the zucchini recipe next.

Anonymous said... #

This was so easy to follow! I made a double bath of chunky and then my husband wanted it shredded for tuna salad...no problem, made another double batch shredded. Delicious!!!

Anonymous said... #

What is the relish used with, or is it eaten by itself?

Anonymous said... #

I've made a similar recipe using yellow summer squash and red bell peppers. We used this sweet squash relish in place of sweet pickle relish as in tuna salad sandwiches or on hotdogs. You really can't taste the difference.

Diana said... #

I would like to add a note about my experience with vinegar and turmeric. I was making quite a bit of the squash and zuchinni relish and selling it to friends. I use the white vinegar in my recipe. I decided to try the store brand for the vineagar and turmeric. That waa a mistake. I kept that batch and made a new batch for my friends. The store brand vinegar is ok for cleaning but for the relish it was less flavor.

Tina Butler said... #

You didn't accidently purchase cleaning vinegar did you? I it also white vinegar but not used to cook or eat with. I use white vinegar all the time in my squash relish and have never had a issue.

Susan Patrick said... #

I made this relish and it came out wonderfully. It is colorful and very flavorful and I use it just like you would pickle relish, in fact in my opinion it is better. All I have given a jar to just raves about it but, most all the people that have tried it really said it was great on tortilla chips used like a salsa. I give it 5 stars.

susan said... #

Hi Tina, I have a question for you? I love the squash relish like it is but, I have been asked could I make it into dill squash relish. Do you think I can make it just like the sweet except omit the sugar and change the spices maybe. Could you possibly help me on making this squash relish to dill what I might need to do different. Thank You, Susan Patrick