Tangy sweet corn relish adds a most delicious zip not only to hot dogs and burgers, but to a whole host of other dishes, too. This version is lightly sweetened with honey (though you can use sugar, too) and loaded with flavour, colour, and the crunchy pop of plump corn kernels. It's a relish lover's delight, one you can enjoy all year long. (Skip to recipe.)
I've been on a preserving kick this summer - it was the year we seemed to run out of all our relishes, chutneys, and salsas, and what better time to putter in the kitchen than when we're all sticking close to home anyway? It's deeply rewarding to look at all those jars lined up on the shelves and know they will brighten many a winter meal.
We had a beautiful corn crop this year; we've been enjoying those sweet cobs fresh and I've been freezing a lot. With one last basket of cobs to deal with, I got the urge to make a zippy corn relish. This one is delicious! It's a combination of a simple corn relish I used to make years ago and my popular zucchini relish, and it also used up some of my killer sweet and delicious tomatoes (well, only used one and a half of them - they are huuuuuuge).
Corn relish is a fun change from regular relish - the toothsomeness of the crunchy corn kernels gives it a great texture, and the sweet-sour tang makes everything pop. I've been sneaking it from the jar with a spoon. This version is less sweet than commercial corn relish, with none of the preservatives or artificial colours. It's naturally sweetened with honey and coloured with turmeric (a healthy boost), and loaded with fresh market or garden veggies for an antioxidant and fiber boost. You can feel good about plopping a spoonful of this deliciousness onto your food.
Try corn relish on the standard hot dogs and burger for sure, but it's also great alongside all kinds of grilled or roasted meats - chicken, fish, pork, beef, as well as with meat loaf, cold cuts or ham. Corn relish goes great with eggs, spooned onto tacos, rolled up in wraps, stirred into tuna salad, or into pasta salads. Add a spoonful or two to bean salads or green salads, or pile some into a baked potato with a dollop of sour cream. It's great on a sandwich. Let your 'corny' imagination be your guide.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: If you don't have honey, you can substitute granulated sugar instead.
Sweet Corn Relish
- 8 cups (2 litres/1400gms) fresh corn kernels, cut from the cobs and cobs scraped (10 to 12 cobs)
- 4 cups (700gms) onions, minced (food processor is fine for this)
- 4 cups (900gms/2lbs) diced fresh tomatoes with their juices (no need to peel them)
- 2 cups (300gms) finely diced red bell peppers
- 2 cups (300gms) finely diced green bell peppers
- 2½ cups (600ml) apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar, divided
- 1 cup (340gms) honey (or 1½ cups/300gms natural evaporated cane sugar)
- 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine corn, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add 2¼ cups/540ml) of the vinegar (reserve ¼ cup/60ml for mixing with the cornstarch at the end), the honey, mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, pepper, celery seeds, and cumin.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat a bit to medium-high and cook the relish mixture, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until the liquid is reduced somewhat (though it'll still have quite a lot of it there) and thickened slightly. Stir it often while cooking, especially during the last 10 minutes so it doesn't burn.
Stir the cornstarch into the reserved ¼ cup/60ml of vinegar and pour this slurry into the relish. Cook for 2 or 3 more minutes, until it is thickened (it will thicken more upon cooling).
Ladle the hot relish into sterilized pint canning jars or half-pint jars. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth, top with the hot, sterilized snap lids, screw on the lid rings so they are only finger tight, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes 7 pints (500ml jars) or 14 half-pints (250ml jars).
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