Sweet Pickle Relish


Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty

Relish is pretty easy to make if you already have some pickles in your fridge—just chop them up, simmer with some sugar and vinegar, and you’re in business, ready to top a hot dog right off the grill. But making relish from fresh cucumbers is nearly as easy, and saves your whole pickles for sandwiches and burgers. Plus, I always grow too many cukes in my garden anyway, so it’s nice to have something else to do with that bounty besides bread-n-butters and dilled spears.

This recipe calls for a lot of turmeric, because I happen to love it (and it’s really, really good for you, too). But if you’re not as into it as I am, feel free to use less, or none at all. The quart-sized Mason jar yield will last in the fridge through the summer, ready for every backyard cookout. If you’re up for the project, double the recipe and use proper canning techniques to put some relish up for the winter—it’s delicious on leftover turkey and ham or aged cheddar cheese.

1 pound cucumbers, stem ends trimmed and finely diced
1 onion, minced
2–3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup sea salt (not iodized salt)
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup cane sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon turmeric (optional, or use 1 teaspoon for a less yellow relish)

In a large bowl, mix the vegetables and salt together and cover with cold water. Allow to sit on the counter about an hour or two, then drain and squeeze as much liquid out as you can.

Transfer the dry vegetables to a large saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20–30 minutes. Cool slightly, then pack in a quart-sized jar and cool before storing in the fridge.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2016 issue.