Friday, July 31, 2009

Homemade Pickle Relish

Last week I tried making homemade pickle relish with our bounty of cucumbers. I used this recipe from Gourmet magazine, since it looked simple and used ingredients that I already had on hand. I knew I wanted a refrigerator recipe, not one that had to be canned, since I've never done that.
The only ingredients in the relish were chopped, seeded cucumbers and chopped onions.

Then you put the cucumbers and onions, mixed with a little salt, in a colander over a bowl and let them drain for 3 hours. It's amazing how the salt pulls out the moisture. Even though they seemed fairly dry after being seeded, this is how much water dripped out:
Then, as the recipe instructed, I wrapped the mixture in one of my flour sack towels and squeezed - and got at least as much water again!

After that, I just simmer the vinegar, sugar, and salt for a couple of minutes and added the cucumbers and simmered for a minute more. Then the relish is chilled and then ready to eat.

I am actually not a huge fan of sweet relish myself, but I thought that this tasted authentic. It had a slightly fresher, more cucumber-like taste than jarred relish, which I liked. However, some of our cucumbers have been somewhat bitter, and my husband thought that the relish didn't completely mask that aftertaste.

If using home-grown cucumbers, this is certainly an economical recipe. The only ingredients besides the cucumbers (onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt) probably cost pennies per batch. And it should definitely impress people to serve your own homemade pickle relish! ;-)

Check out more frugal ideas at Frugal Fridays!

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