Mother Earth Living

Canning and Preserving Herbs: Zucchini Relish

By Maggie Oster
August/September 1995
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Makes 6 to 8 pints

All the jokes about zucchini’s being prolific are true, so here’s one more way to use nature’s munificence. Mix or match any type of summer squash you have available.

• 12 cups grated zucchini
• 4 cups grated onion
• 1 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
• 1 sweet green pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
• 1/3 cup pickling salt
• 1 quart white wine or cider vinegar
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 tablespoon dry mustard
• 2 teaspoons celery seeds
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram leaves

1. In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the zucchini, onion, peppers, and salt. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours. Drain, rinse in cold running water, and drain again.

2. In a nonreactive pan, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seeds, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the drained vegetables, reduce the heat to low, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, thyme, and marjoram.

3. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath. Fill the jars with the hot, thickened mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely.

4. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a boil, process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.

(Adapted from Herbal Vinegar.)

Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include Recipes from an American Herb Garden (New York: Macmillan, 1993) and Herbal Vinegar (Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.

Click here for the main article,  Canning and Preserving Herbs: 13 Recipes .

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