Zucchini season is coming up, and one can only make so much zucchini bread. This new take on a summer classic from Vancouver-based nonprofit Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society pickles zucchinis—along with red peppers and onions—for a sweet and tangy relish. Heads up that you'll need canning jars for this recipe (another plus: this condiment will last a long time).
Fresh Roots provides cooking and farming programs for youth in B.C.'s lower mainland, encouraging them to get their hands dirty and build their knowledge of food systems (and some pretty invaluable self-confidence). They're hosting a Schoolyard Farm Dinner fundraiser on Thursday, July 7 at David Thompson Secondary School with top chefs serving up some excellent eats—think Hokkaido scallop ceviche from Organic Ocean, veggie burgers from Sirius Eats and rainbow trout roulade from Ono Vancouver, plus Ernest's ice cream and 33 Acres beer. Proceeds from this event go straight back to the youth programs—get your tickets here. Now, on to the recipe.
3 lbs zucchinis cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
3 onions chopped
2 sweet red peppers diced
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
In a food processor, pulse zucchini, adding a few pieces at a time, until the size of rice with a few larger pieces for texture. Transfer the zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Stir in onions, red peppers and salt. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Drain vegetable mixture well; rinse, and drain again, pressing out as much moisture as possible.
In a large shallow saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes; bring to boil. Add drained vegetable mixture; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mix cornstarch with water and stir into relish; simmer, continue stirring until you can pull your spoon along the bottom of the pan leaving a path that fills in slowly (about 5 minutes).
Pack into four 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil, readjusting headspace if necessary. Wipe jar rims to remove any relish remnants before securing the lids. Cover with prepared lids. Twist on screw bands until resistance is met; increase to ‘fingertip tight’. Lower jars in the canner of boiling water making sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water above the jars. Process for 15 minutes.
MORE SUMMER RECIPES: Make This Arugula Pesto, Stat