Nana Recipe Wednesday–Zucchini Relish

by Sarah on July 20, 2011

Hi Everyone!  Home improvement is getting in the way of cooking much this week, so in honor of this explosive zucchini season, I am going to post this yummy recipe for zucchini relish.  I actually planted 2 zucchini plants this year—because last year the one didn’t produce much.  OMG.  I have more zucchini than I know what to do with.  I may be making more relish again soon myself. Enjoy!

Nana used to do a fair amount of canning, and from what I can tell from the many canning recipes in the box, she did a lot of canning with her girlfriends.

This recipe has a note on it–“We’re really enjoying the relish we made together–nothing could be as good as that!  Next week the pickles!!  -M.  I have no idea who M is, but apparently it is one of Nana’s canning buddies.  What I do want to know is what relish did they make together that was so darn good?

Today’s recipe is for zucchini relish, and perfect timing as there’s a good bit of zucchini and other summer squash coming out of my yard right now.  While the recipe calls for one 5 to 6 pound squash, I’d rather use the regular sized ones, they just taste better.

First, chop 5 to 6 pounds of zucchini and/or other summer squash into chunks, along with 5 large onions and place in a large bowl or tub.  Soak overnight with 1/4 cup kosher salt and enough water to cover them.  Drain in the morning.

This recipe calls for a food grinder.  I have the attachment for the KitchenAid mixer, but you could use an old-fashioned hand cranked grinder, or use a food processor–but if you use a processor just make sure you only pulse until chopped, you don’t want it to be a paste.

This also calls for 3 little jars of pimiento.

I dumped the pimientos in with the zucchini and onion and mixed it up so that it would be evenly dispersed throughout the relish.

This is going to be a colorful relish!

Grind using the coarser blade.

I really love using my food grinder.  It’s so satisfying for some reason.  If you have a KitchenAid mixer, I highly recommend the grinder attachment.

I made a relish mountain.

Next, it’s time to make the syrup.  In a stockpot with a heavy bottom, add 5 cups white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 5 cups of sugar, 2 Tbsp mustard seed, 1 tsp celery seed and 1/2 tsp ground clove.  Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes.

Add the relish mixture to the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil.  Boil until transparent.

Ladle hot relish into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace.

Seal and process using the water-bath method, boiling for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and uncover and let sit another 5 minutes.

Yummy on dogs, sausages, sandwiches, etc.

Nana's Zucchini Relish


  • 5-6 pounds zucchini or other summer squash
  • 5 large onions
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp salt
  • 3 small jars pimiento
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove


  • Cut squash and onion into chunks (small enough to fit through the grinder) and soak overnight in 1/4 cup salt and enough water to cover them. Drain them in the morning.
  • Add pimiento and put through the grinder (or food processor, if you must) using the coarse blade.
  • In a large stockpot, bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp salt and spices. Let boil a full 2 minutes. Add the relish mixture and boil until transparent.
  • Ladle the hot relish into hot, sterilized jars and seal using the water-bath processing method.

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