Make Ahead

Quick pickled celery relish.

March 11, 2012
3 Ratings
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

  • Serves 3
  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Combine celery, shallot, cilantro stems, and chili in a shallow bowl.
  2. Sprinkle vegetables with salt, and cover with cold water.
  3. Let sit 3 hours. Strain, extracting as much liquid as possible without pressing down on the vegetables. Discard the liquid.
  4. Combine the lime juice, vinegar, 1/2 cup water, lime zest, mint leaves, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove and discard the mint leaves.
  6. Add the vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  7. Drain most of the liquid (reserving for another use, if desired). Serve relish hot, warm, or chilled.
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