Sweet Cucumber Relish is a sweet, crunchy and pickled relish that is ideal to liven up your sandwiches, burgers, salads and more.
It’s a sweet but tangy alternative to sauces or chutney. It’s also the perfect way to preserve excess cucumbers from the garden or bargain buys at the supermarket.
What is a relish?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a relish as “A piquant sauce or pickle eaten with plain food to add flavour”
Is this a spicy relish?
This Sweet Cucumber Relish contains spices but these spices are for flavour rather than hot chilli spices.
If you like your relish spicy, add some chilli flakes to the mix, as many or as few as you wish.
What can you use the relish for?
I’m really pleased with the way this recipe turned out and I think you are going to love it too.
If you grow your own cucumbers then I know you are going to have a time when there are just too many to eat. I don’t have a greenhouse so have no experience of cucumber growing. If you want to find out more I would suggest the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as they provide comprehensive and reliable advice.
Cucumbers don’t freeze well because they contain too much water. So the best way to preserve them is in a pickle or relish.
How to make Sweet Cucumber Relish
The relish contains cucumber, red (bell) pepper and onion, spices, sugar, vinegar. and a little cornflour (cornstarch).
What kind of cucumbers do you use?
As I don’t grow my own cucumbers at the moment I bought three cucumbers from the supermarket. These are standard salad cucumbers.
Preparing the Cucumbers, Red Pepper and Onion.
Wash the cucumbers then cut them in half lengthways. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, they should come out easily. Discard the seeds.
Cut the cucumbers into small cubes approximately 1 cm square.
Wash the red pepper, cut in half and remove the stalk, seeds and white pith. Cut the pepper into small cubes about 0.5 cm square.
Remove the skin from the onion and chop finely.
Put the cucumbers, pepper and onion in a large non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle with salt and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Why do you have to salt the vegetables and leave overnight?
Cucumbers contain a lot of water; the salt will draw out the water, which you drain off. Doing this keeps your cucumber pieces firm and crisp in the relish.
Drain the vegetables in a colander, rinse with cold water, then place them into a tea towel and twist to squeeze out the excess water.
It’s now time to sterilise the jars that you want to use to contain the relish.
How do you sterilise your jars?
I sterilise my jars and metal lids by thoroughly washing and rinsing them. I then put them, still wet, upside down onto a baking tray and place it in the oven at 150C just before I start to make the relish.
The water creates steam which helps to sterilise the jars. I take them out of the oven and fill them with the hot relish, then put on the lids. If you would like to know more then Tin & Thyme has a comprehensive guide to sterilising jars and lids.
Roughly crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin, or in a spice grinder. Add the turmeric and the cornflour and mix together.
Put the vinegar and sugar into a large pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. Take out 2 tbsp of the hot vinegar and add the vegetables.
Add the hot vinegar to the spices and cornflour and blend together.
Bring the vinegar and vegetables back to the boil. Then add the spice and cornflour mix and simmer for 3 minutes stirring. Stirring is essential so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Ladle into the hot sterilised jars. and screw on the lids tightly. Leave for 6 weeks to mature before using it.
Swett Cucumber Relish makes an ideal Christmas gift on its own or as part of a hamper.
More Chutney Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
More Chutney Recipes
Spicy Baby Tomato and Sweet Pepper Chutney – Fab Food 4 All
Best Beetroot Chutney – Tin & Thyme
Green Tomato and Raisin Chutney – Kavey Eats
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Sweet Cucumber Relish
- Large bowl
- Large saucepan
- wooden spoon
- Tea towel
- 5 glass jam jars with lids
- 1.3 kg Cucumber approx. 3 cucumbers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 onion large
- 100 g salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dill seed
- 1 tsp pink peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp pickling spice If you don't have pickling spice use mustard seeds
- 200 g sugar
- 600 ml cider vinegar
- 25 g cornflour
- Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Discard the seeds.
- Finely chop the cucumbers into dice of approximately 1 cm.
- Deseed the red pepper and dice finely.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Place all the vegetables in a large non-metallic bowl and add the salt, mix the salt though the vegetables. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When you remove the cover you will see that there is now a pool of liquid. Drain the vegetables in a colander, rinse with cold water, then place them into a tea towel and twist to squeeze out all the excess water.
- Sterilise the jars by washing, rinsing and placing in the oven at 110C for 20 minutes.
- Roughly crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin, or in a spice grinder. Add the turmeric and the cornflour and mix.
- Put the vinegar and sugar into a large pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil.
- Add two tablespoons of the hot vinegar to the spices and cornflour and blend together
- Add the vegetables to the vinegar and sugar and bring back to the boil. Then add the spice and cornflour mix and cook for 3 minutes stirring.
- Ladle into the sterilised jars. Leave for 6 weeks to mature before using.