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Preparing Sweet Pickle Relish

Pickle relish is a staple in many kitchens. Use this pickled treat anytime you’d use a pickle relish, on a hamburger or hot dog, in tuna salad, or when you want to add flavor to a sandwich. One advantage of homemade relish is mixing flavors you don’t find in commercially produced relishes.

Sweet Pickle Relish

This recipe is ready to eat as soon as you’re done precooking it. So save one jar to cool for dinner the night you make it. Try it in homemade Thousand Island dressing.

Preparation time: 55 minutes plus 2 hours soaking time

Processing time: Half-pints and pints, 10 minutes

Yield: 7 half-pints or 3 pints

5 to 6 medium cucumbers

3 to 4 green and/or red bell peppers

3 to 4 medium onions

1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt

Cold water, about 4 to 6 quarts

3 cups granulated sugar

2 cups cider vinegar

2 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds

2 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  1. Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Finely chop the cucumbers in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, to measure 6 cups.

    Seeding a cucumber with ease.
    Seeding a cucumber with ease.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers. Finely chop them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, to measure 3 cups.

  3. Remove the skin of the onions. Finely chop them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, to measure 3 cups.

  4. Combine the vegetables in a 5- to 6-quart bowl. Sprinkle them with salt and add cold water to cover them.

    Cover the bowl; let the veggies stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Rinse the vegetables with running water in batches in a colander. Drain well.

  5. Combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, and turmeric in a 5- to 6-quart pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the drained vegetables and return the mixture to a boil.

    Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes or until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.

  6. While your relish is cooking, prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Keep the jars and lids hot.

  7. Spoon and lightly compact the hot relish into the prepared jars.

    Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive utensil, adding more relish and liquid as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.

  8. Process your filled jars in a water-bath canner for 10 minutes from the point of boiling.

  9. Remove the jars from the boiling water with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts.

    After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two months.

Per 2-tablespoon serving: Calories 51 (From fat 1); Fat 0g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 499mg; Carbohydrates 13g (Dietary fiber 0g); Protein 0g.

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