Serious Eats: Recipes

Sauced: Sweet Cucumber Relish

With Memorial Day in sight, I sat down to make sure every condiment needed for the summer barbecue season was accounted for:

Ketchup, check.
Mustard, check.
Mayo, check.
Barbecue sauce, check.

Thinking I had the standard bases covered, I started to relax, then realized an important omission, relish! Relish comes in a bunch of varieties—just add vinegar, sugar, and salt to any chopped vegetable—but when we're talking standard cookout fare, it's a sweet cucumber relish you usually want.

To make mine, I implemented to a two-step approach to grate then chop cucumbers, onions, and red and green bell peppers in the food processor to achieve a nice, fine texture. The veggies were then salted, let rest, and rinsed. Next they were simmered in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and mustard seed and transferred to a jar for storage.

What you'll get is a sweet, tangy relish with a nice note of celery and a little bitterness from the mustard seed to round it out. It's perfect for canning, but there's no reason it can't be used right away—I expect this batch to be gone by the end of the weekend.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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