Author Notes: I like this better than most jarred cucumber or pepper relishes. It's full of clean, bright flavors, and the celery keeps just enough crunch. Since I don't have a jarring setup, I make it as needed, but I'm sure, if you had the proper equipment and followed sanitary procedures, it would preserve wonderfully in the pantry. I made it as a sauce for pan-fried trout, but I'd imagine it would be great on any number of sandwiches (roast or pulled pork, corned beef, fresh or canned fish) or on crackers with a bold, creamy cheese. —offtrailcuisine
Food52 Review: The flavors are wonderfully balanced in this delicious relish. I can't wait to experiment with the ways this can be used. So far, I've only tried it on its own and I just love it. Next, I'm thinking I will pair it with smoked salmon and cream cheese on black bread. I used one very narrow green Thai chile approximately 1-1/4 inches long. I will probably double the chile to kick up the spice next time, or try a red Thai chile. —giuliettanicoletta
- 1 bunch celery hearts, cut into small dice (about 1 cup), most of the leaves removed.
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
- 1/4 - 1 thai chili (to taste), seeds, stem and white pith removed, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- cold water
- 2 limes, juiced
- enough rice vinegar to bring total acid (rice vinegar plus lime juice) to 3/4 cups
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 lime, zested
- 10 whole mint leaves
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- Combine celery, shallot, cilantro stems, and chili in a shallow bowl.
- Sprinkle vegetables with salt, and cover with cold water.
- Let sit 3 hours. Strain, extracting as much liquid as possible without pressing down on the vegetables. Discard the liquid.
- Combine the lime juice, vinegar, 1/2 cup water, lime zest, mint leaves, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove and discard the mint leaves.
- Add the vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Drain most of the liquid (reserving for another use, if desired). Serve relish hot, warm, or chilled.