With Memorial Day in sight, I sat down to make sure every condiment needed for the summer barbecue season was accounted for:
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.
- 3 large cucumbers, washed, seeded, and cut into 4 large chunks
- 2 medium white onions, quartered
- 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded
- 1 large green bell peppers, seeded
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
Grate the cucumbers using the grating disc in a food processor. Switch to the steel blade and pulse until cucumber is finely chopped. Repeat with onions and peppers.
Place chopped cucumbers, onions, and peppers in a medium bowl and mix in salt. Cover and allow to sit overnight.
Pour vegetable mixture out into fine mesh strainer. Rinse under cold water and strain, pushing the vegetables against the side of the strainer using a rubber spatula to remove as much water as possible.
In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, and celery seed to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve to sugar. Add vegetable mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let cool to room temperature, transfer relish to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator .