Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Canning: Cucumber & Pepper Relish

I wanted to make a relish but couldn't decide between a sweet or a dill relish. This one is a nice "in between" relish. It's a little sweet but has some dill for kick. The 3 jalapenos are mild at most so if you want it spicier, increase the jalapenos.

I love how colorful this relish looks with the peppers in it. I made a double recipe of this one and the best part was that this was the one pickle that was ready NOW! I omitted the grated horseradish since the ones I found at the store were very icky looking. I added 1 tsp. celery seeds and 1 tsp. mustard seeds to give it more flavor.

Cucumber and Pepper Relish
Yield: 4 pints
From "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich

2 lb. pickling cucumbers, chopped (about 6 cups)
3/4 lb. sweet peppers, such as bell or pimento, some red and some green, chopped (about 3 cups or 4 medium peppers)
3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/2 c. chopped onions
6 Tbsp. pickling salt
2/3 c. sugar
3 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. grated horseradish
2 tsp. whole dill seeds

1) In a nonreactive bowl or pot, toss the chopped cucumbers, peppers and onion with the salt. Empty 3 ice cube trays on top of the vegetables and let them stand at room temperature for bout 4 hours.

2) Drain the vegetables in a colander and return them to the bowl or pot. Top them with fresh ice from 3 ice cube trays. Let the vegetables stand for 1-2 hours.

3) Drain the vegetables thoroughly, discarding any remaining ice. In a nonreactive pot, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately add the cucumbers and peppers, and then the garlic, horseradish, and dill. Stir well and bring the mixture to a full boil. Ladle the hot relish into pint or half-pint mason jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath, or immerse them for 30 minutes in water heated to 180-185 degrees F.

4) Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place.