As most gardeners probably know, it’s easy to accidentally grow a giant zucchini. It is the usual outcome of leaving a zucchini plant untended while you take a weekend away. And once you have giant zucchinis, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them, as nearly everyone prefers smaller and more elegant summer squashes.
Fermented zucchini relish is my answer to an over abundant crop. The relish is salty, sweet and tangy, perfect for a summer BBQ or a cheese platter.
Canning Fermented Relish
I have been making this zucchini relish for over ten years. I usually make a triple batch. After fermenting, I store a 500 ml jar in the fridge for eating fresh, then I use a boiling water bath to can the rest of the relish in jam jars. They won’t be probiotic, but they make excellent gifts and are perfect for winter eating.
If you want to can fermented zucchini relish for long term storage the follow these rules:
- Use the full amount of sugar and cider vinegar indicated in the recipe. The sugar and vinegar are a necessary part of the preservation.
- After fermenting, drain the excess brine. Put the fermented vegetables in a pot then add the sugar and vinegar.
- Bring everything to a boil.
- Pack into 250ml mason jars. Process in a boiling water canner (affiliate link) for 15 minutes. If you don’t know how to do this, then Bernardin has a good tutorial on how to process high acid foods.
Fermented Zucchini Relish
Need a way to use up some giant garden zucchinis? Zucchini relish is a savoury and sweet condiment that is perfect with cheese or for a barbecue. This relish is fermented rather than cooked to soften the vegetables. Not only is fermenting EASIER than cooking, it also is probiotic!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart jar 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: American
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1/2 of a red pepper diced
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 1 tbsp grated horseradish (optional)
- 1 small hot pepper diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (optional)
- Combine all the vegetables and spices in a bowl, then mix in the salt.
- Pack the vegetables into a jar for fermenting. Use a spoon to really pack it in. The zucchini should sweat off enough liquid to cover the vegetables.
- Ferment in a cool dark location for 3 days (a closet is perfect.)
- Drain off the excess liquid.
- Stir in the sugar and cider vinegar. The total amount suggested is what you need to can the relish (see above.) If you plan on eating this fresh, then you don’t need to add any sugar or cider vinegar. Just flavour it to suit your taste buds.
- Store in the refrigerator and eat within 2 months.
- I usually do all my fermenting in fidos, however, you could use a mason jar with an airlock or a pickle-nipple lid (affiliate links). You could also go low tech, and just use a jar with a weight to keep the fruit below the brine. See fermentation basics for more info.
- If you are planning on storing this ferment for a few months in the fridge, then I recommend making sure that everything is kept very clean.
- Alternatively, you can boil water process zucchini relish for shelf storage (see above) or freeze the relish in straight sided mason jars.
- Generally, I use a starter for fermented vegetables, however, homegrown, organic zucchini should have the bacteria it needs to culture this ferment. If you aren’t certain then feel free to use a starter. Here’s more info on culturing vegetables with a starter.
Keywords: gluten free, vegan, keto, paleo, whole 30, sugar free, probiotic, preservation, summer, fall, garden, relish, chutney