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“The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye”, so the song goes.  It’s the perfect time to make a little corn relish.  The zucchini are still bearing, the peppers are starting to bear and the corn…oh God, the corn!  It’s so delicious fresh, but it’s nice to have a few jars of corn relish tucked away for later.  This relish is pretty, and pretty delicious.  I like it on a burger, a hot dog or a fried egg sandwich.  I’ve also been known to put some on a pizza, throw some in a salad, and plop a dollop on baked potato.  This is a great hostess gift, too.  Don’t we all love to be on the receiving end of something from someone else’s kitchen?

A few things to consider, before we begin—

  • I prefer to diced the zucchini, onions, and bell pepper about the size of corn kernels.  You may use a food processor to prep those, but just be careful not to over-process.  You don’t want a purée.
  • I usually don’t use the Serrano chile, but prefer to use the extra amount of red pepper flakes
  • You can double this, but I think the end results are better if you make two batches rather than doubling it into one large batch.

First, you’re going to need to cut the kernels from the cob.  To do so, use a very sharp knife (and all of your knives should be sharp all of the time!) and cut straight down, top to bottom.  The goal is to cut as close to the cob as possible, without getting any of the tough cob.  That’s the goal.  But, when you cut, you leave behind a bit of the corn kernel.  Turn the knife dull side against the cob and scrape that pulp, again top to bottom.  There shouldn’t be too much, but why waste it?  Once this is done, the relish goes together relatively quickly.  Once everything is minced and diced and measured,

it’s dumped into a heavy-bottomed pot and simmered for 25 minutes.  Done!!  You can store jars in the fridge.  Or you may can it, put the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes, and when sealed they will be shelf-stable for up to a year.

Sweet Corn-Zucchini-Red Pepper Relish

  • Servings: Makes 3-4 pints
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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You can chop the zucchini, onions and bell pepper in the food processor, but I prefer to chop them by hand, as it’s too easy to over-process them in the food processor.  You can easily double this recipe.

  • 1 medium zucchini, diced the size of a corn kernel
  • 2 cups diced onions (diced the size of a corn kernel)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced the size of a corn kernel
  • 4 cups corn kernels (cut from 4-6 ears, depending on how big the ears are)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced the size of a corn kernel
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Serrano chile, seeded and finely minced (or 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal Kosher® Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2-4 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch (see NOTE)

Combine the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed 4 to 6 quart saucepan or Dutch oven.  Stir to combine everything well.  I may be easier to mix the arrowroot in with the sugar; this will ensure that there are no lumps.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Fill clean jars and seal. Will last for 4-6 weeks refrigerated.  If you would like to store your relish for longer, can, seal and hot water bath for 15 minutes. Excellent with hot dogs, on burgers, in tacos, or on schnitzel.

NOTE:  You may need a little more thickener, if the mixture seems too “watery”.  Make a slurry with additional arrowroot or cornstarch and water; add to the simmering mixture while stirring constantly.  Remember this will thicken slightly as it chills and sits.

Sweet Corn-Zucchini-Red Pepper Relish Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.