Has anyone else ever wondered why the US relish market is dominated by sweet cucumber relish?! Ever googled relish recipes only to find that every search result comes back with the word sweet in the title!? For the love of pickles, why must we insist on adulterating the perfect flavor of fresh cucumbers with sugar? I understand that the sweet and tangy flavor of the classic relish tastes great atop a hot dog or hamburger patty, but seriously… move over Heinz, Vlasic, and Claussen, make way for dill pickle relish! OK, enough of my sweet pickle ranting. If my disdain for sweet pickles isn’t obvious by now, you clearly don’t know me at all and we apparently need to work on our communication skills…
If you haven’t yet noticed, it’s cucumber season: that lovely time of year when farmers and gardeners alike harvest cucumbers of all shapes and sizes (often the size of small babies). Still in need of something to swap at the August Seacoast Food Swap, I figured that I’d switch up my pickle game and try making a dill pickle relish. Modified from Solid Gold Eats‘ dill cucumber relish recipe, I’m quite pleased with the outcome (12 half pints… oh man) of this relish.
With the exception of the spices and vinegar, all the ingredients used in this relish were locally grown within 40 miles of Portsmouth, NH: cucumbers and jalapeños (Wake Robin Farm); white onions (Black Kettle Farm); more cucumbers (Brentwood, NH); fresh dill (Rye, NH). I love summer! Speaking of Black Kettle Farm, I’ve secretly been crushing on them since the beginning of the 2014 market season. The simplicity in their design, get up, and farm stand had me at veggies… I’m glad I finally made my move on their spring onions last Saturday.
- 4 lbs cucumbers (finely chopped)
- 3 cups white onion (finely chopped)
- 2 jalapeños (de-seeded and chopped)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 Tbsp dill weed
- 1/2 Tbsp dill seed
- 1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup sea salt (pickling salt is also an option)
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Place chopped cucumbers, salt, turmeric, and water in a large bowl and let set for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, rinse and drain cucumber mixture (no need to press or squeeze out liquid here).
- Combine cucumbers, chopped onions, jalapeños, dill seed and weed, mustard seed, sugar, and vinegar in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Ladle hot relish into hot sterilized jars leaving approx. 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel for ~12 hours or until sealed.
- Can be stored for up to one year.