Most relish recipes for home canning seem to come from the American south.
This recipe is an attempt to replicate the Sweet Green Relish that is popular in more northern parts of North America such as Chicago and Southwestern-Ontario, while sticking very closely to a tested canning recipe from a reputable source. All that was modified was the flavourings.
This recipe makes a lot, so you may want to cut it in half: though mind you, come summer, fans shovel this stuff onto hot dogs like there is no tomorrow.
It’s also known as “Neon Relish” and “Nuclear Green Relish”, and by some “Sweet Pickle Relish.” Though what Ball calls Sweet Pickle Relish is not green enough to be this relish, because Ball has you peel the green skins off the cucumber. If there’s one thing that fans of this relish will tell you, is, it’s got to be green. Or as they will say, “nuclear green.”
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR half-litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 7 x half-litre (US pint) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: 15 minutes either size jar
Dill Pickle Relish
Yield: 7 x half-litre (1 US pint) jars
- 3.5 kg pickling cucumbers (8 lbs)
- 175 g pickling salt (½ cup / 6 oz)
- 1 litre white vinegar (5% acidity or higher. 4 cups / 32 oz)
- 450 g sugar (white. 2 cups / 16 oz)
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 325 g onion (finely chopped. 2 ½ cups / 12 oz / 2 ½ medium onions)
- 3 drops green food colouring (optional. Per per 250 ml / cup / 8 oz relish in jar)
Wash and scrub the cucumbers under cold running water, trim off both ends, leave skin on. Chop into large chunks, then finely chop in a food processor (use pulse) or put through a food mill. Put in a large pot or very large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt OR salt sub, mix the vegetables and salt with your hands. Top with enough cold water to cover completely. (The exact quantity of water doesn't matter.) Let stand for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, you can prep the onion and set aside.
Drain the cucumber, rinse and drain again.
In large pot, mix together everything from the vinegar down to and including the mustard seed, then stir in the onion and then the cucumber.
Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pack hot into quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars or half-litre (US pint) jars.
Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace for either size jar.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process either size jar for 15 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
Best after at least a month of jar time.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
Australia and New Zealand vinegar strength special notes.
- Instead of the salt, you can use the same amount of non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub. We have had good results with Herbamare Sodium-Free
- As far as the sugar goes, you could dial the amount back by 25 or 50%. Or use the same volume amount of Splenda®, or 2 to 3 teaspoons liquid stevia ( we’d recommend the brand Better Stevia liquid stevia ). Just remember, though, this is meant to be a sweet tasting relish — that’s why kids adore it.
- The reason for pickling cucumbers is because those varieties have the least water in them, and, because the skins are unwaxed. We want unwaxed here, because we are using the cucumbers unpeeled. Other varieties of cucumbers would work, provided the skin is unwaxed (e.g. from your garden, or English cucumbers.) You’ll just need to work a bit harder to get the extra water out.
Dill Relish. In: Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 87.
Dill Relish. In: Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball /Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Robert Rose Inc. 2015. Page 219.
- Dropped out dill seed and turmeric;
- Added mustard seed and celery seed, added more sweetener;
- Added colouring.
The ingredient lists on most jars of Sweet Green Relish reveal cucumber, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric, as well as a thickener such as xanthum gum. And, food colouring. (Some versions add minute flakes of red pepper for colour.)
We did not add any thickener, as you aren’t supposed to add thickener to home canning recipes that don’t already call for it, and we omitted adding the red pepper as well, as you aren’t supposed to increase the amount of low-acid ingredients in a recipe. So we stuck by the rules of only changing seasoning.
As for the green food colouring that makes it nuclear green relish, you can decide if you want to add it or not. We’ll show you in pictures how it looks.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons / 30 ml
Using salt and sugar
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 23 calories, 63 mg sodium
Sugar and salt-free version
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 8 calories, 1 mg sodium.
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 to 4 tablespoons: 0 points; 5 to 14 tablespoons: 1 point.
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.
* Pickle Crisp ® is a registered trademark of the Jarden Corporation.