Zucchini Sweet Relish

Yield: Makes four 500 mL jars

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The dreaded I-have-so-much-zucchini-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-it season. If you find yourself in this boat, and have eaten your fill of zucchini chocolate cake, than I’d suggest a good relish.

The relish is a versatile one. It’s great on barbecued sausages, slathered on cheeseburgers, or stirred into a meatloaf mixture. It’s also a great match for mayo when making dipping sauce for fish. Once you have this relish in your pantry, I’m sure you’ll find many uses for it besides hot dogs and smokies.

I got this recipe from the canning queen herself, Amy Bronee, author of the best-selling cookbook, The Canning Kitchen. I can’t recommend it enough if you want to explore more of the canning world!


1.3 kg zucchini, green or yellow

2½ cups finely diced yellow onion

1 cup finely diced red bell pepper

¾ cup finely diced green bell pepper

¼ cup pickling salt

2½ cups granulated sugar

2½ cups white vinegar

1 Tbs celery seeds

1 Tbs yellow mustard seeds


  1. Rinse the zucchini under cool running water. Trim off the tips and discard. Coarsely shred the zucchini on a box grater.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables and the salt. Let stand 1 hour to allow the salt to draw excess moisture from the vegetables. Drain and rinse the vegetables in a fine mesh sieve. Firmly squeeze out the excess liquid. Transfer the vegetables to a large, heavy bottomed pot.
  3. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Bring to a bubble over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
  4. Ladle into clean (and hot) 500 mL jars, leaving about 1 cm headspace (I use a wide-mouth funnel to help prevent spills). Poke a non-metallic utensil inside each jar a few times to remove air bubbles, topping up the relish if necessary. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove any food spills from the jar rims.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging for preparing lids for processing. Screw on the lids just until fingertip tight, which is just past the point of resistance. Carefully lower the jars in your canner, which contains boiling water.
  6. Note: It’s a good idea to fill your canner with water and set it over high heat at least 20 minutes before you need it. You want enough water so that the jars will be covered with at least 2 cms of water when they are submerged.
  7. Once the water returns to a boil, process the jars for 15 minutes. The canner is covered, to reduce evaporation. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the jars stand for another 5 minutes in the hot water.
  8. Carefully remove the jars from the canner, using a jar lifter or tongs with silicone tips. Place on the counter, leaving a little bit of space between the jars so they can cool down properly, 12 to 24 hours.
  9. Once the jars are fully cooled, press the middle of each lid to check for a vacuum seal. If the centre of the lid is suctioned down, your jar has safely sealed. If it doesn’t seal, store that jar in the fridge and consume it first.

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