zucchini relish – perfect way to use overgrown zucchini

zucchini relish - perfect way to use up overgrown zucchini

by Michelle

Zucchini relish is a delicious way to use up overgrown zucchini. Salty and sweet, it’s gorgeous on grilled meat or as a pickle accompaniment on a charcuterie board. If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know how prolific they are and how fast they grow. I like to pick them when they are less than six inches long to use in salads, carpaccio or sauteed.  Because I continually miss one or two a plant when harvesting, I end up with monster zucchini in my vegetable garden. If you don’t grow your own, you can easily find large zucchini at your local farmers market for two dollars each or less. Four or five zucchini, the size of a child’s baseball bat will be enough for this recipe.

My grandchildren are visiting from Victoria, British Columbia. They love life at the farm! Wide open fun from the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they fall into bed at night. The first day we were in the vegetable garden, Coen said, “Grammy, your zukes are as big as baseball bats!” The description stuck.

This time of year, I’m pickling every day trying to use up everything in the garden. Most of what I make ends up at the restaurant Zucchini relish is a favorite on my charcuterie boards at Italian by Night, pairing beautifully with our imported cured meats and cheeses. I love it on a grilled sausage with shredded cheddar. To me, it’s summer in a bun! Have fun with  this recipe. If you like spicy pickles, you can add a fresh whole cayenne pepper or some chopped jalapeno pepper. If you like it a little sweeter, add more sugar. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the final flavour. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

This is my first post in a while. I’ve spent the last few months working on bite with Sean McGrath updating the theme and recategorizing many of the recipes so that you can find things more easily. My dad, George Chase, created my new watermark logo. I’m so grateful to both of these profoundly talented men for their patience and guidance as I felt my way along the change. Let me know how you like the new look.

Thanks for reading.

zucchini relish

Rating: 3.8/5
( 4 voted )
Serves: 10 x 500 ml Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


8 lb zucchini, 4-5 large zucchini
5 medium yellow onion,
1/2 cup pickling salt
5 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
5 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1 large hot pepper including seeds, chopped - I used jalapeno


Day One

      • Wash and dry zucchini.
      • Cut the zucchini into three inch chunks, then cut the chunks in half vertically, then cut the halves into thirds.
      • Remove the pithy centre and all seeds.
      • Peel onions and cut into eighths.
      • Grind the zucchini and onion through a food grinder. Place ground vegetables in a large ceramic or food safe plastic bowl. Stir in pickling salt. Cover and leave on counter overnight.

Day Two

    • Drain  and rinse vegetables with cold water in large cheesecloth lined mesh strainer, twisting the cheesecloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
    • Place sugar, celery seed, turmeric, vinegar, horseradish, hot pepper and drained vegetables in a large stainless steel stockpot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and boil gently until thick, about 45 minutes.
    • Prepare 8 - 500 ml canning jars, lids and rings according to manufacturer's instructions.
    • Ladle relish into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch of top rim (headspace). Using the handle of a wooden spoon, remove air bubbles. Make jar rim is spotless, removing any stickiness. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw on ring until finger tight. Repeat for remaining relish.
    • Label jars and store in a dark cool cupboard.


THE LOVE: The secret to making great Zucchini Relish is removing the pithy centre and all of the seeds. A lot of recipes instruct you to grind the whole zucchini but using only the firm flesh below the skin will give you a much nicer relish.