Make Ahead

Sweet Pickle Relish

August 30, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Makes 8 - half pints
Author Notes

I've been making this relish most of my life. My great-grandmother Agatha made it every summer and wrangled my help with the prep work from the time I was a small child. In those days, everything was grated on a box grater. It's much easier these days with the Cuisinart. I use this relish as a base for tartar sauce, just add mayo or plain yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice. It's also spectacular on hot dogs and all other sausages. I've also fiddled with the spices - alternately using allspice and juniper and fennel seed in lieu of the mustard seed. Also, replacing some of the sweet pepper with hot pepper provides a completely different and wonderful relish. Source great heritage peppers (Cubano, Jimmy Nardello, Banana) and your relish will be extraordinary. —MrsWheelbarrow

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups finely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 4 cups finely chopped sweet peppers, seeded and deveined
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons kosher or canning salt
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 8 half-pint jars, lids and rings
  1. Cover finely chopped vegetables with cold iced water and salt and set aside for two hours.
  2. Drain vegetables. Rinse well and then drain very well. I usually press with a large spoon or spatula to get as much water out as possible.
  3. In the meantime, in a large (5 qt) non-reactive pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and spices to a rolling boil.
  4. Add vegetables and bring back to a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Fill hot jars with hot relish and seal with lid and rings, following all the usual USDA recommendations for processing. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the jars from the processor and listen for the satisfying pings.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • lapadia
  • Lizthechef
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • mrslarkin
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14 Reviews

anniemax July 23, 2019
Best pickle relish you'll ever eat!! Make some as is, but be sure to try some with hot peppers.

I've been making several batches of this recipe since it first appeared, so almost 10 years now I've kept my family supplied. This year, one daughter, one granddaughter, and one nephew are learning how to do this, as at 80 years old it's time for me to retire from the relish making business.
MrsWheelbarrow July 23, 2019
You just made my day! I'm so glad you're teaching the young 'uns how to preserve!
mstv September 30, 2014
Just made a quarter recipe - made one pint jar. Looks and smells great. I only go through about a 12 oz. jar of sweet relish per year normally, but this might speed that up!
piccantedolce August 6, 2013
I made this relish last year and am obsessed with it. Getting ready for this years batch and sharing the recipe with my sister in law. THanks so much for sharing a family recipe, it may become ours too :)
MrsWheelbarrow August 7, 2013
Thank you so much!
Midge August 26, 2010
Yum! Saving this one for sure.
MrsWheelbarrow August 27, 2010
Hi Midge - Thanks, I hope you'll give this recipe a go!
lapadia August 25, 2010
Sweet pickle...YUM! Thanks for sharing your recipe MrsWheelbarrow!
MrsWheelbarrow August 26, 2010
You're welcome! I hope you try it.
Lizthechef July 1, 2010
I made this relish and it is so good that I burned my mouth tasting it while it was cooking!..I can't wait to make this all year round, as the ingredients are always available in the markets. Here's my photo -
MrsWheelbarrow June 9, 2010
Thanks, Liz & MrsL - it's a fun, easy canning recipe and once you've tasted it, you'll never want to be without it!
Lizthechef June 10, 2010
ps MrsL is a "Liz" too BTW...
mrslarkin June 9, 2010
Mmmmm....Now I'm craving a hot dog with your relish.
Lizthechef June 7, 2010
You got me with the magic word "Cuisinart" - no chopping makes this terrific recipe look very cook-able...