Sweet Pickled Salad Cubes (Relish)

Salad cubes are a larger chopped pieces than sandwich relish. This chunky relish is excellent used in pasta and other salads. I can sometimes find this relish at the grocery store usually during the summer months. I don’t think there will be many sweet pickle choices this year with all the shortages. That is why I thought this would be a good addition to my pantry this year.

I was given some large zucchini. I love zucchini but right now I don’t have any space in my freezer because I had prepped for the high prices and shortages. Next best thing to do with them is pickling them. My local Sam’s Club for the last few months has had pickling cucumbers. I took a trip to Sam’s hoping they were still getting them in. So, I picked up a two-pound bag of them to use with the zucchini pickles.

To make the relish you use the hot pack water bath method. The relish is cooked first and packed into hot sterilized jars. The hot jars are then placed into a hot water bath to process.

I always let my pickles and relishes to set on the shelf for a few weeks before opening up a jar. This gives the vegetables a chance to absorb the spices and brine.

Sweet Pickled Salad Cubes (Relish)

  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Makes 6 pints

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chopped zucchini (small cubes hand cut)
  • 6 cups chopped cucumber (small cubes hand cut)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet green pepper
  • 1/8 cup pickling salt
  • 2 cups vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard

Directions:

Cut cucumbers length wise and remove large seeds buy scooping them out with a spoon.  Chop cucumbers, onions, and peppers into small cubes.  Place in a large bowl layering the vegetables with a sprinkle of salt. Top with ice and cover or weight down with a bowl. Let stand for 2 to 4 hours to allow the moisture to seep out of the vegetables.

Wash jars and lids.  Fill large canner with water.  Put clean jars in canner and make sure there is enough water to cover jars.  This recipe requires a hot pack water bath method. The jars should be boiled for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil.  Turn the canner on when the vegetables are draining. That way the jars will be sterilized and keep them in the hot water until ready to fill.

Line colander with cheese cloth and pour vegetables into colander and let drain.  Do not rinse.  Pick up cheese cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Do this several times.  Shake vegetables out into a large bowl from the cheese cloth.

In a large pan or stock pot add vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar is melted. Add vegetables and stir in a few drops of green food coloring.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove hot jars from canner to a towel.  Fill jars with hot relish.  Wipe rim with a clean paper towel dipped in distilled white vinegar.  Run finger over rim to make sure it squeaks.  Place flat lid on and screw on ring to finger tight.  Note that the new ball lids do not need heated.

Put hot jars into hot water and lower. Boil 15 minutes for pints and 10 minutes for half pints.  Start timing when water bath returns to a full rolling boil.  Turn off heat when done and let the water bath stop boiling before removing the jars.  If you see little bubbles in the jar boiling that means the jars will seal.  Place jars on a towel and tighten any rings finger tight that are now lose.  Let cool for 12 hours before removing rings. The relish will taste better if you let them sit on the shelf for a few weeks so they can absorb the spices and sugar.

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