It's August and in Central Illinois no matter how hot or how dry, somehow there is still zucchini-zucchini from neighbors, zucchini from co-workers, zucchini from relatives, and in my case, zucchini from my CSA, too.

Last week, I sliced it and threw it in the food dehydrator. But there is really only so much vegetable soup I want to make with rehydrated zucchini this winter. So, I began looking for ways to use it up in quantity and stumbled on this recipe from Loretta Stoerger, whom you'll find on Saturdays helping her daughter and son-in-law, Diann and Jim Moore, at the Urbana farmers market.

I first had this relish at a cookout that Loretta and her husband Bill catered for one of the Moore's farm tours. It is great on pork and lamb brats, but just as good mixed with tuna, egg, tofu, or potato salad.

A couple of years ago, I made the full canning batch with my sister who had also fallen behind with the zucchini from her CSA share. You can actually make it in one day as long as you have 8 to 12 hours between when you salt the vegetables and when you drain them.

Zucchini Relish

(makes one jar for the fridge)

Day 1

  • 1 1/2 c zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • scant 1/8 c green bell pepper
  • 1 T red bell pepper
  • 1/4 of a large ripe tomato
  • 1/2 a stalk of celery, top removed

Remove the seeds of the zucchini if present, but do not peel. Put all the ingredients in a food processor, or use a meat grinder with a coarse blade. Add 1 T salt. Stir well. Cover and let stand overnight so the salt can draw off liquid from the vegetables.

Day 2

Pour off liquid from zucchini mixture. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Place zucchini mixture in a heavy nonreactive pan. Add the following:

  • 1/3 c white vinegar
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • heaping 1/8 t dry mustard
  • heaping 1/4 t celery seed
  • scant 1/2 t black pepper
  • heaping 1/8 t of corn starch

Stir well. Simmer about 45 minutes or until mixture is clear, stirring often. Pour into jar. Place on lid, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.


Zucchini Relish
(canning quantity - makes 7 pints)

Day 1

  • 10 c zucchini
  • 5 medium onions
  • 1 c green bell pepper
  • 1/2 c red bell pepper
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 large stalks of celery, tops removed

Remove the seeds of the zucchini if present, but do not peel. Put all the ingredients in a food processor, or use a meat grinder with a coarse blade. Add 1/2 c of Kosher or sea, or other noniodized salt. Stir well. Cover and let stand overnight so the salt can draw off liquid from the vegetables.

Day 2

Pour off liquid from zucchini mixture. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Place zucchini mixture in a heavy nonreactive pan. Add the following:

  • 2 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 5 c sugar
  • 1 1/4 t dry mustard
  • 2 1/4 t celery seed
  • 3 t black pepper
  • 1 T corn starch

Stir well. Simmer about 45 minutes or until mixture is clear, stirring often. Pack into pint jars leaving 1/4-inch head space. Process jars in hot water bath for 10 minutes once water boils.