Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish

After seeing how nuts my husband went for the Hoppy IPA Pickles I created for him, I decided that I should make a hopped up version of a pickle relish. We love (non-sweet!) dill pickle relish, this could be a fun variant on the old favorite.

As I was already midway through making a batch of dill relish when I had this idea, I decided to make a few “design” decisions to create a hopped relish that was visually different from the dill. The addition of turmeric turned it a lovely golden color, while the flecks of red from the sweet red peppers worked well to help create a … pretty? … relish. Yes, that works – In the jar, this is a really pretty relish.

The flavor on this is wonderful, and would pair well with a variety of meats – well beyond the traditional use on a hotdog.

Strange thing is, I may actually prefer this to dill relish! As someone who doesn’t even really like hops… yeah. Weird. The bitterness from the hops just really works well in this context!

I just used the cucumbers left over from pickling, and it made 3 pint jars worth of relish, plus a small amount of overage that we put in a small bowl for more immediate use. If you tend to grill a lot in the summer… you may want to make several batches. It’s THAT good!

Homemade Hop Pickle Relish Recipe

2 lbs pickling cucumbers, cleaned
1 small onion, peeled
1 small red pepper
2 cups vinegar
1 large handful dried hop leaves (or 2 handfuls fresh)
1/4 cup canning salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (OR 1-2 fresh jalapenos)
1/4 tsp dill seed
1/4 tsp turmeric

Chop cucumbers, onion, and red pepper into 1″ pieces, chop in a food processor until finely chopped (or to whatever size you would like!)

Fill your LARGE pot with at least 6″ of water, put on medium or high heat to bring it to a boil as you prepare your brine.

In another heavy pot, bring vinegar to a boil. Add hops and stir well, mashing them around a bit. Allow them to simmer for 5-10 minutes, tasting frequently.

Once mixture has reached your desired level of bitterness, use a slotted spoon to remove all hop leaves. Add processed vegetables and all remaining ingredients, bring mixture to a boil.

Use a sterile ladle and canning funnel, pour boiling relish into prepared jars, leaving about 1/4″ head space. Wipe off the top edges of the jar with a clean, wet towel, top each with a new, sterilized lid, and carefully screw on a clean lid ring. I like to use a kitchen towel for this, the jars are HOT! Carefully place your jars of relish into the boiling water pot, allow to process for 15 minutes. CAREFULLY remove them, allow to cool overnight.

The next morning, check to make sure that all of the jars achieved a proper seal – try to push down in the middle of each lid. If it “pops”, it did not seal. Any jars that didn’t seal should be put in the fridge and used in the next few weeks.

Store in a cool, dark area (ideally) for up to 1 year, chill well before eating.

Enjoy!

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

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