It might be the end of November in Arizona, but I’m finding myself swimming in zucchini lately. I’ll admit.. I always find myself overwhelmed when I have too much.. but am quick to remind myself that zucchini really does make great homemade Christmas gifts for neighbors, family and friends – especially if they love a good polish sausage or hot dog, or hamburger on the grill.
Really though – who doesn’t love to fire up the grill? Here in Arizona we can do that all year long .. so it only makes sense to make more relish.
A few weeks ago, we had over 10 huge zucchini and processed ten jars of relish – at some point, I will need a dedicated refrigerator just for my fermented and canned items because I truly am running out of room.
This recipe for relish is that recipe I rely on every year to pump out the same beautiful jar after jar – we process in a water bath when we are done and it keeps in a cool, dark pantry for up to a year. Though if you give as gifts, you shouldn’t need to worry about that because one jar can be used up reliatlvey quickly.
We have made this relish with as little as 2 large zucchini, and as many as 7 large zucchini. Making it with 2 large zucchini gave us 2 pints, whereas 7 large zucchini gave us 6 pints. So it’s safe to say that each large zucchini will give you a pint (more or less).
(You can even make it with squash – we have and it tastes just as incredible!)
We pulled off some red and green bell peppers from our garden, and shredded in the food processor – I love the color it gives the relish. Instead of using a white onion, we used a large purple, which gave us some more zest and some added color to the finished relish.
All in all this recipe is incredibly easy to throw together – the hardest part might be soaking the zucchini in salt overnight!
Some notes to consider before making this relish:
*Add some zest to this relish by tossing in two jalapeños – remove the stem and seeds and finely dice before adding to the zucchini mixture on the stovetop.
*Feel free to use apple cider vinegar in lieu of the regular distilled vinegar – it will turn out just as incredible.
*The sugar is what gives this relish the acidity it needs to stay safe in a cool, dark, pantry for up to 12 months. If you reduce the sugar, then consider storing your jarred relish in the freezer.
*We have always used our relish within 7-8 months, but it can safely be kept in a cool dark pantry for up to a year (provided you don’t alter the sugar content). If you don’t feel comfortable storing this in your pantry (unopened of course), it freezes beautifully too.
This relish makes a wonderful Christmas gift or gift for a new neighbor, as does our Homemade Dill Relish.
What’s your favorite way to use an abundance of zucchini?
Recipe adapted from Ball Peserving