I drink the brine on this one. I kid you not. This is a super old-fashioned pickle so self-consciously retro that it’s modern again – ready for its place on your Aunt Bitty’s relish tray alongside the three-bean salad and the pickled beets. Just FYI, I actually prefer frozen corn to fresh here because – well, forgive my shallowness, but frozen corn is just prettier than anything I’ve ever been able to cut off the cob, and the strong flavors in this mix don’t merit the extra effort. (Oh, and thanks to my intern, Sam, who showed me how awesome this is baked with salami on a pizza.) Note that it’s natural for the brine to get cloudy as the corn releases its starch.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 3/4 cups diced red bell pepper (3 or 4 peppers)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 3/4 cups diced red onion (1 very large onion)
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and salt and sauté for approximately 12 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers soften and begin to caramelize. Add the corn, stirring to combine, and cook the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the corn is hot. Turn off the heat and add the onion to the pan; stir well.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, and turmeric and stir just until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Pack the vegetables tightly into 3 clean pint jars, and pour the warm brine over the vegetables to cover completely, discarding any unused brine. To can the relish for longer storage, process the jars according to the instructions below. Otherwise, cover tightly, and let the relish sit at room temperature for 1 day before moving it to the refrigerator.
How to Store It: Refrigerated, this will keep for up to 6 months. Canned, it will keep for up to 1 year
How to Can It: Place an empty canning pot or stockpot on the stovetop (don’t turn on the heat yet). Place as many jars in the pot as will fit without touching one another (you may have to process the jars in multiple batches). Fill the pot with cold water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil and let the jars boil for 15 minutes.
Put a kitchen towel on your counter. Turn the heat off and carefully remove the jars from the hot water bath with tongs or canning tongs and place them on the towel (don’t let the jars touch). You will likely hear some of the jar lids pop, indicating that they have been properly sealed (they can still be properly sealed even if you don’t hear the pop). After the jars have cooled for about 10 minutes, check the seals: press down on the center of each lid; it should not bounce back. If it does, move the jar to the refrigerator once it’s cool and eat within a week.
Excerpted from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon © 2011 Karen Solomon Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
For more great lifestyle tips & recipes, sign up for our Joie de Vivre newsletter!