~Orson Scott Card
In the growing of zucchini, there’s ALWAYS one that gets away. I much prefer to pick them no bigger than 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) long and with the wilted flower still attached. That is a perfect size to slice up medallions for pizza or slice in half lengthwise to grill for a few minutes on the gas grill like Debra does. That small size also has miniscule seeds and a still firm center. Catching them at that size takes daily perusal. I was sure there was one to check on…should be perfect for dinner tonight by now. But when I looked, there it was. The first of the year to quadruple in size overnight! Well over a foot long (30 cm) I contemplated tossing it into the compost but that’s such a waste. I could make it into a casserole, or bread but I didn’t want to use the oven and I didn’t have all the ingredients for Vindaloo or Quesadillas. Nor did I want anything to be that involved. I was taking it easy that day, still feeling the effects of a migraine from the day before.
Hmmm, what to do. My friend Kathy LOVES those big’uns for making her relish for canning but I only had one and she doesn’t live close by. Looking through my recipe card files…no…I neglected to get the recipe from her. Ok, this can’t be that complicated…find one in the cookbooks and try it. As you can see I have saved several pickle recipes in years past. I tried pickling some zucchini spears last year but didn’t really like them. I didn’t find a recipe that was interesting and easy for my lack of energy and patience, but reading through a dozen or so for pickles and relish, I made one up and got started.
Making a relish is perfect for trying out the new shredder attachment my sister gave me at Christmas for the KitchenAid. Without it I wouldn’t have attempted all that grating by hand.
Cool shredder! Lickety split, done in less than 5 minutes! I can see how useful this will be for lots of recipes.
I used the ‘coarse’ shredding cone. It did a pretty good job with only a few chunks left uncut.
In a small bowl I combined:
• ½ c apple cider vinegar (local from Rockridge Orchards, yum)
• ¾ c Sucanat (a healthier form of sugar Shari told me about)
• ¼ tsp tumeric
• 1/8 tsp ground mustard seed (prepared mustard is fine)
• 7 twists of freshly ground fenugreek (no, it’s not in any of my recipes but I love fenugreek and in it goes. It’s wonderful on any veg)
Let all that dissolve and blend while the zucchini is draining. When the zucchini finished draining I spooned it into a wide mouth quart canning jar, poured in enough ‘sauce’ just to cover, gave it a stir, capped it and put it into the refrigerator. The jar was about ¾ full, but I took this picture after we had it for dinner. I had enough sauce for probably 2 jars but didn’t have another zucchini that big. You could save it for another batch or I just poured it into a salad dressing jar, added an equal amount of olive oil for a delish salad dressing.
One recipe for ‘quick cucumber pickles’ said by the next day you can enjoy them. I wanted to spoon this relish over a grilled salmon patty for dinner so it didn’t sit that long, but by next day it should be even better….if it lasts that long. I think the salting and draining of the zucchini leaves it softened and ready to absorb the sauce quickly which is why this doesn’t need weeks to be ready to enjoy.
I must say…this was a wonderful meal. Over a bed of lettuce I layered some brown rice, the grilled salmon patty, the relish and drizzled some sauce over the lettuce and rice. Yum. I’m tempted to let several zucchini ‘get away’ now that I have this recipe. It’s a keeper. I can see this jar won’t last much more than a day or two. It will be good on just about anything.
A relish from garden to table in a matter of hours…how fresh is that!
In bloom in my garden today: Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop), Alpine Strawberries, Alyssum, Armeria, Astlbe, Begonia ‘bonfire’, Borage, Bletilla pink, Crocosmia ‘george davidson’, Daphne caucasica ‘Eternal Fragrance’ and ‘Summer Ice’, Digitalis grandiflora, Echinacea, Fuchsia, Geranium ‘mavis simpson’, Gladiolus callianthus (formerly Acidanthera), Green Beans, Hosta, Huchera, Lavender, Lily, Lobelia, Mullen chaixii ‘Album’, Nepeta, Oregano, Phygelius ‘new sensation’ (cape fushia), Rose, Salvia, Scheherazade oriental lily, Schizostylis ‘watermelon’, Star Jasmine (trachelospermum jasminoides), Thyme ‘foxley’, Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower), Tomato, Zucchini