A while ago, we visited Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. (If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by! It is a 1,400-acre wonderland of woodlands, pastures, and gardens, together with a dairy, garden, inn, restaurant, sustainability educational center, and a plethora of activities for kids.) At the farm store, we bought a jar of their maple zucchini relish, and what a treat it was! And what a blast of flavors!!! The jar disappeared quickly, and since Vermont is far away, I had no other option but to embark on the adventure of recreating it at home. Make sure you try the relish with a slice of aged cheddar, just as they sell it at the farm or, needless to say, with a hot dog. But beware: After this relish, the plain old pickle one might not taste the same anymore. —QueenSashy
Test Kitchen Notes
I liked this relish a lot. It's simple to make, with a good spice blend (turmeric gives some nice body, fennel a good depth of flavor, and the red pepper flakes some welcome heat). It's also a great way to preserve a last blast of summer squash to brighten up the fall. I did feel that the relish was very sweet; I think the amount of maple syrup could be reduced. —Jo Keohane
- Makes about 10 cups
1 1/2 each pounds
zucchini and yellow summer squash (for a total of 3 pounds of squashes. This should yield about 7 to 8 cups of grated squash.)
medium red bell peppers
2 1/2 cups
finely chopped yellow onions
medium or light amber maple syrup
1 1/2 cups
fennel seeds, lightly crushed
red pepper flakes
- First, prepare the vegetables. Wash the squashes carefully and remove the stems. Do not peel. Grate the squashes on a coarse Microplane, or in a food processor. Finely chop the peppers, either by hand or in a food processor.
- In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the zucchini, onions, and chopped sweet peppers. Sprinkle with salt, mix well, and leave in the refrigerator covered for 6 hours or overnight.
- In a large colander, drain the vegetables thoroughly. Squeeze the excess juice. Rinse with water to remove saltiness, then drain again, making sure to press out excess water. The vegetables should be very dry.
- In a non-reactive pot, combine the vegetables and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes.
- While it is still hot, pour the relish into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims with a wet cloth and seal the jars with lids. Let the relish cool completely. Store the relish in the refrigerator for about two months.