I have heard that there are places where, in summer, people dare not leave the windows in their parked car open, or their screen doors unlocked, for fear that someone might drop off a bag of courgettes (zucchini if you are from North America!). Of course that’s a joke, but I’m sure there are people out there who are inundated with courgettes and can’t give them away!!
This has been a year when there was definitely a glut of courgettes in my garden – it didn’t last very long, but it was fun while it lasted!! 🙂
The courgette plants got a little out of hand, and at one point I missed picking one of the dark green courgettes. Wouldn’t you know that by the time I spotted it, the courgette had turned into a rather monstrous looking thing??
Is it a cricket bat? Is it a club? No, it’s a courgette!! I didn’t weigh it, but it was pretty heavy!! Just a few days before the discovery, friends from Georgia (USA) had been telling me about their recipe for courgette relish. I called on them right away, and begged for a copy of the recipe. Better still, I told them, come on over and help me make it. They graciously agreed, and we’all got stuck in, peeling and chopping!
Here are the main ingredients – onions, carrots, red peppers, sugar, and cider vinegar:
We also used mustard seeds, dill seeds, red chillies and all spice. You’ll see, at the end of this post, that the recipe calls for celery seeds, which I could not find in Saint-Chinian. The lady who sells spices in Saint-Chinian’s market on Sundays had dill seeds instead, and they were a very good substitute. I also added chillies and allspice, neither of which was called for in the recipe.
We made two batches of relish since the courgette was rather large. One batch was made with red peppers and the other with carrots. The courgette pieces were chopped in the food processor – it took no time at all!!
Here are all the ingredients chopped and grated:
Once the vegetables had been assembled in their respective bowls, we added salt, mixed it all well and covered the vegetables with cold water.
Now we had some time to while away – the vegetables were supposed to stand for two hours. To make the time pass more quickly, I whipped up a batch of scones. Once we had cleaned the table, we sat down to a rather decadent afternoon tea, complete with the warm, freshly-baked scones, home-made preserves, cream and Earl Grey tea!!
Here are the vegetables, rinsed and drained:
The cooking was very easy and quick. Vinegar, sugar and spices were brought to the boil, the vegetables added, and once it boiled again the mixture was simmered for 10 minutes.
We potted the relish up right at the end of the cooking time, while it was still boiling hot. Twist-off jars are great for this – the lids were screwed on right away, and the heat of the relish sterilised the remaining air inside the jar and created a vacuum.
What didn’t fit into the jars is in the two bowls above – it was great to taste the results of our labours!! This is a very delicious recipe and a great way to use up courgettes. I can see that this recipe is going to be a keeper! Thank you, Jane and Ham!!
- 2 cups chopped courgettes
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped red peppers or grated/chopped carrots
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp celery seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 cup cider vinegar
Combine the vegetables, sprinkle with salt, mix well and cover with cold water. Leave to stand for 2 hours. Strain, rinse thoroughly and leave to drain in a colander. Combine the sugar, celery seed, mustard seed and cider vinegar in large saucepan. Bring to the boil and add the drained vegetables. When it comes to the boil again, turn the heat low and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, immediately pot the hot relish in twist-off jars and screw on the lid. Leave to cool, label, and store in a cool, dry place.
This is a delicious relish which can be eaten right away and goes very well with all kinds of food: cold meat, cream cheese on crackers, goats cheese . . .
What would you eat it with?