Make This Fresh Zucchini Relish for All Your Summer Sandwiches

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A new take on classic relish from Vancouver nonprofit Fresh Roots.

Zucchini season is coming up, and one can only make so much zucchini bread. This new take on a summer classic from Vancouver-based nonprofit Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society pickles zucchinis—along with red peppers and onions—for a sweet and tangy relish. Heads up that you’ll need canning jars for this recipe (another plus: this condiment will last a long time).

Fresh Roots provides cooking and farming programs for youth in B.C.’s lower mainland, encouraging them to get their hands dirty and build their knowledge of food systems (and some pretty invaluable self-confidence). They’re hosting a Schoolyard Farm Dinner fundraiser on Thursday, July 7 at David Thompson Secondary School with top chefs serving up some excellent eats—think Hokkaido scallop ceviche from Organic Ocean, veggie burgers from Sirius Eats and rainbow trout roulade from Ono Vancouver, plus Ernest’s ice cream and 33 Acres beer. Proceeds from this event go straight back to the youth programs—get your tickets here. Now, on to the recipe.


3 lbs zucchinis cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

3 onions chopped

2 sweet red peppers diced

1/4 cup pickling salt

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Make It

In a food processor, pulse zucchini, adding a few pieces at a time, until the size of rice with a few larger pieces for texture. Transfer the zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Stir in onions, red peppers and salt. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Drain vegetable mixture well; rinse, and drain again, pressing out as much moisture as possible.

In a large shallow saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes; bring to boil. Add drained vegetable mixture; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Mix cornstarch with water and stir into relish; simmer, and continue stirring until you can pull your spoon along the bottom of the pan leaving a path that fills in slowly (about 5 minutes).

Pack into four 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil, readjusting headspace if necessary. Wipe jar rims to remove any relish remnants before securing the lids. Cover with prepared lids. Twist on screw bands until resistance is met; increase to ‘fingertip tight’. Lower jars in the canner of boiling water making sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water above the jars. Process for 15 minutes.

Recipe: Make This Fresh Zucchini Relish for All Your Summer Sandwiches



Why become a Fresh Roots Veggie Box Subscriber this summer?

  • Do you get a little thrill when you bite into a freshly picked, ultra-local carrot?
  • Is the idea of creating urban spaces for learning, sharing and connecting something that excites you and makes your heart grow a size or two?

  • How about being part of a community that values good food and knowing exactly (seriously, you can meet them!) who planted, grew and harvested your delicious veggies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Fresh Roots Veggie Box just might be for you!

Hey wait! What exactly is a Veggie Box?

It’s our take on Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. Simply put, a CSA is a group whose members receive a share of food from a local farm’s weekly harvest in exchange for an investment at the beginning of the growing season. This investment helps farmers purchase seeds, tools, and other farm-y things to set everyone up for a successful growing season.

Why choose the Fresh Roots Veggie Box?

Hyper-fresh, locally grown seasonal produce!

THE number one reason for becoming a Fresh Roots Veggie box member is access to the best produce our Schoolyard Market Gardens have to offer.  For $20/ week members experience farm-to-table food in real-time.  Think just harvested leafy greens, radishes with just the littlest bit of dirt still clinging to the root and the intoxicating waft of fresh herbs.  Home made pesto anyone?

Support Schoolyard Farms

By becoming a Fresh Roots Veggie Box member you are joining a local community of engaged food lovers who support the work we do including:

  • growing lots of high-quality, Good Food on school grounds
  • training, supporting  and fostering self-confidence in local youth
  • hands on (those hands get pretty dirty!) outdoor learning with teachers and kids to help bring textbooks to life.

Surprise! Learn about new veggies

You’ll often end up with something you normally wouldn’t have on your grocery list. The Fresh Roots Veggie Box has a way of nudging you out of your comfort zone in the nicest possible way.  Don’t worry! We are here to support you with recipes, suggestions and tips and tricks about how to prepare your new favourite veggies found in our weekly newsletter, along with insider updates, upcoming events, what’s happening on the farms, and special programming.

Fresh Roots is helping folks make healthy food choices, transforming urban spaces and creating strong community leaders and advocates for a just and sustainable food system. Now that’s what you call value-added produce!

Support Vancouver Schoolyard Farms! Sign up today and eat fresh, ultra-local veggies all summer long.

Click here to learn more about the Fresh Roots Veggie Box 

“These salad boxes never disappoint. Our fridge is always stocked with fresh, healthy, and incredibly tasty food, with the added pleasure of variety week to week and the knowledge that we’re supporting a great program that benefits local farmers, educators, students, and the community. I would recommend this program to anyone who likes to eat really well and feel good about the food that they are buying.”– Robin, Salad Box Member