It’s the heat of the summer and if you’re into gardening and peppers are part of your bounty, relish is a great way to keep the flavor going throughout the year. Several years ago, I found a great recipe from Putting Up More by Steve Dowdney. I’ve had several requests from friends for this recipe so it’s time to share!
If you follow me on Pudbudder, you know I always tweak with my own twists and special touches. So without further adieu, get on those kitchen gloves and start cleaning those peppers, it’s time to relish those peppers.
Note: be sure to use kitchen gloves whenever handling hot peppers and seeds. You’ll find disposable ones at discount stores like WalMart, Dollar General etc for a nominal cost. These peppers contain oil that will definitely leave your hands wishing you had used gloves if you don’t.
Hot Pepper Relish
Yield : 3 pints
4 cups diced bell peppers – varied colors
2 cups chopped onion (yellow and red)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp mustard seed
Hot Peppers to add
- Mild: add ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and veins removed
- Standard: ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, leave seeds & veins
- Medium: ¼ cup finely chopped hotter pepper – datil or cowhorn
- Hot – ¼ cup – ½ cup haberno peppers or ½ cup datil
- Screaming: 1 cup finely chopped hot peppers of choice and reduce bell by ½ cup
Bring vegetables, vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seed to boil; simmer 3 minutes.
Dowdney recommends to check the pH at this point in the recipe. However, I have had no problem with simply canning the product as stated below by ladling into sterile jars (do make sure the jars, lids and bands are sterilized), sealing and inverting, then storing in a cool dry place. Actually this relish disappears pretty fast at our house so not sure how long the shelf life would be for this product. But use your best judgment – test pH or process for the desired result.
Optional for testing pH: Take pot off heat and allow temp to drop to 205 degrees; test pH. If below guidelines (pH higher than 4.2), drain vinegar and add another cup vinegar per recipe. Bring to boil again. When temp reaches 205degrees, test pH again.
Ladle into sterile jars; seal and invert for at least 2 minutes.
Here are the combinations I’ve tested and developed for taste:
- 4 cups mixture green and sweet banana peppers
- 2 cups onion – red & white mixture
- ¼ cup Datils, seeded and veins removed, finely chopped
This one is our favorite!
- 1 each red and 1 green bell peppers, chopped
- (1/2 batch) ½ cup banana peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped jalapenos
- 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix
This is our second favorite.
We liked this third version the least. Suggest skipping the pickling spice if you don’t like the stronger ginger flavor in this mixture.
- 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped (2 cups)
- (1/2 batch) 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsps chopped cowhorn pepper*
- 3/4 tsp pickling spice
Cowhorn is a pepper I have grown that is similar in heat to an Anaheim pepper. (3,000 – 5,000 on Scoville.) But be CREATIVE – use your favorite pepper and don’t be afraid to add different flavors to your relish. Try something new, but be sure to check out where your pepper rates on the Scoville Chart to make sure it’s your kind of pepper. For something hotter, try Serrano or Thai Chili peppers, depending on your tastes. But our favorite will always be our beloved Datil!