At 2 a.m. I was still in the kitchen. Peach jam in the canner, tomato jam out of the canner, three trays of fruit leather in the oven, tomatoes and peaches in the dehydrator, prepping zucchini relish. This is what I always forget in those dreamy, carefree spring months when I plant my garden or sign up for a CSA (or, this year, do both): The harvest season is also a season of all-out frenzy.
This recipe is here to help. You will find both emotional and practical relief as you reduce two truly gargantuan zucchini to five tidy pints of the hot dog relish you remember from childhood.
Pile it onto a field roast sausage with that better-than-ketchup (and I don’t say that lightly) tomato jam and a beery mustard, and you’ll almost forget about the boxes of ripe pears in the basement still awaiting your attention.
Any ideas for those pears?
Zucchini Relish: Finely dice 12 c. zucchini, 4c. onions, and 3 red peppers. (If you’re not feeling the meditative pull of the knife, go ahead and save 20 minutes by using your food processor’s shredding blade instead.) Toss the vegetables with 1/3 c. pickling salt in a glass bowl and leave them overnight.
Next day, rinse and drain the vegetables well. Add them to a pot with 2.5 c. sugar, 2.5 c. white vinegar, 1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg, 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric, 2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish and one minced jalapeno pepper. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil as you cook the relish down until it thickens, 45 minutes to an hour. Pack into sterilized pint jars with 1/2 an inch of headspace, check for bubbles, and process 15 minutes (at sea level) in a boiling water bath canner.