Mother Earth Living

Classic Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe

Sweet pickle relish goes great with everything from barbecued meat to grilled cheese. Learn how to make your own with this recipe!
By Andrea Chesman
June 2012 Web
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In "The Pickled Pantry," author Andrea Chesman offers a guide to pickling that features recipes for everything from crisp cucumbers to carrots, rhubarb, cabbage and pineapple.
Image Courtsey Storey Publishing

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In The Pickled Pantry (Storey, 2012), author Andrea Chesman offers a guide to pickling that features recipes for everything from crisp cucumbers to carrots, rhubarb, cabbage and pineapple. In this excerpt from chapter 5, “Salsas, Relishes and Chutneys,” Chesman shares a classic sweet pickle relish recipe for a condiment that goes well with everything from barbecued meat to grilled cheese. 

Classic Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe

makes 7 to 8 half-pints

What doesn’t go well with a sweet pickle relish? It makes a great pairing with such homey favorites as hot dogs, barbecued meat on buns, grilled cheese, crackers and cheese, cold-cut sandwiches, and tuna fish salad. A spoonful or two added to my Sweet Pickle Macaroni Salad makes an all-American classic.


4  cups finely chopped cucumbers
2  cups finely chopped onions
1  green bell pepper, finely chopped
1  red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4  cup pickling or fine sea salt
2 cups cider vinegar
3  cups sugar
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1  tablespoon mustard seeds

1. Combine the cucumbers, onions, and green and red bell peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well to mix. Cover with cold water. Let stand for at least 2 hours, and up to 6 hours. Drain well, pressing out the excess liquid.

2. Combine the cider vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, and mustard seeds in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Pack into clean hot half-pint canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and seal.

4. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, according to the directions on page 31. Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

Cucumber Relish

Anything goes in a relish. If your cucumbers are somewhat overripe, just cut each in half lengthwise and scrape away the seeds before chopping. You can use either salad cucumbers or pickling cucumbers—or both—for a relish. The texture will be crunchier with pickling cucumbers because they have a greater ratio of skin to flesh, but the difference will be small.

Excerpted from The Pickled Pantry © by Andrea Chesman; used with permission from Storey Publishing. 

More recipes from The Pickled Pantry:

Homemade Mustard
Classic Homemade Ketchup

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