Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet 'n Spicy Zucchini Relish

"It's zucchini season.  Don't make eye contact with your neighbor."

It is that time of year again. When we head out to our gardens and the zucchini looks like it received a double dose of steroids during the night and is now five times the size it was yesterday.  What to do with all that wonderful zucchini?  Why an old fashioned staple of course, zucchini relish with a sweet 'n spicy twist.  I can guarantee that you will love this spicy zucchini relish on or in just about everything:  hot dogs, Dagwood sandwich, potato salad, fried ham slices.....

Dagwood Sandwich

So now you need to head on out to your garden.  Go on with ya.....  Once you get there, pick yourself several zucchinis of a small size not that giant big boy size in the first picture of today's post.   When it comes to zucchini, size matters.  By size, I mean the smaller the zucchini, the more tender and tastier it will be in your recipes.  A big zucchini the size of your thigh is going to be tough and fibrous and not have the flavor of his smaller cousin.  If the steroid fairy has already visited and you are left with the big boy, do not despair.  Before you shred the zucchini, be sure to take out the seeds which will help keep it from being so bitter.  (Here is a little tool that might come in handy if you need to core the seeds out of your zucchini:  Better Houseware Zucchini Corer. Core Zucchinis, Eggplants, Peppers and More Vegetables & Fruits.)  Remember, bigger is not better when it comes to zucchini!

Sweet 'n Spicy Zucchini Relish

8 cups shredded zucchini
6 onions, grated
2 minced jalapeno peppers
3 minced garlic cloves
5 tablespoons coarse salt
4 cups sugar
2 and 1/4 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1. Mix the zucchini and onion in a large earthenware bowl. Sprinkle with the salt.  Let stand overnight.

2.  Drain.  Rinse the excess salt off the zucchini, and squeeze out the excess water.  Set zucchini aside.

3.  Mix the sugar, jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, celery seed, turmeric, and nutmeg in a large stainless steel pot.  Add the zucchini mix.  Simmer slowly for 30 minutes.

4.  Mix in the cilantro.

5.  Pack in clean, hot pint jars.  Leave 1/2 inch headspace, and seal tightly with rings and lids.

6.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner, but begin the timer as soon as the jars go into the canner.  


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