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What Is Pepper Relish?

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  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Pepper relish is any relish recipe that calls for peppers as the main ingredient. These recipes may feature spicy peppers, sweet bell peppers, or a mixture of both. There are many different kinds of pepper relish recipes, so cooks interested in making some of their own should be able to find one they enjoy. Many people eat pepper relish as an alternative to high-calorie condiments like mayonnaise and salad dressing. The relish adds flavor and nutrition to meats, salads, and sandwiches. It may also be eaten as a salsa or dipping sauce.

Every pepper relish recipe starts with one or more kinds of peppers. Very spicy pepper relishes usually include dried spicy peppers because the heat often intensifies during the drying process. These recipes often also feature a number of mild vegetables, like cucumbers and tomatoes, to help keep the heat from becoming overwhelming. Some cooks may even stir in a few spoonfuls of honey and granulated sugar. The sweetness is said to provide a pleasant counterpoint to the capsicum present in most hot peppers.

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Sweet pepper relish is also very popular. While these recipes may contain spicy peppers, they more often include bell peppers. Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are particularly sweet and often create a pleasing color palette. These sweeter mixtures may also include balsamic vinegar, honey, and molasses in the base. Other foods that might taste good in a sweet relish include sweet onions, chopped grapes, carrots, and garlic. Those who don’t like the heavy flavor of balsamic vinegar may replace it with cider or rice vinegar, both of which typically taste light and tangy.

Most peppers feature versatile flavors that may be tailored to fit seasonal and ethnic themes. A summery, tropical pepper relish might include chopped banana peppers, orange and red bell peppers, pineapple, watermelon, honey, and hot pepper flakes. This recipe might be a delicious alternative to cocktail sauce for shrimp. It might also be tasty on honey-grilled chicken or pork chops.

An Asian-style pepper relish would feature a rice wine base, red chili peppers, ginger, granulated sugar, onions, and apricots. The cook might also add a few dashes of soy sauce and drizzle the mixture with duck sauce. This fresh-tasting condiment could be tasty on a chicken stir-fry or served over Asian tacos. It might also become a tangy dipping sauce for spring rolls, or be eaten by itself over white rice. The uses for pepper relish are almost as endless as the flavor combinations it might contain.

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honeybees
Post 6

I have tasted pepper relish that I really liked, and others that I didn't care for so much. I love hot peppers, so for me, the hotter the better. I always look for this when I go to farmers markets, but sometimes it can be hard to find.

The best pepper relish I had was made with some spicy peppers with some red pepper flakes and tomatoes. It was also made with rice vinegar, which I found I really like with the hot pepper relish. It really complements the spicy, hot peppers.

My husband doesn't like anything made with hot peppers, so when I find a jar, I know that I don't have to worry about sharing it with him!

bagley79
Post 5

I am not much of a gardener, but my brother grows a big garden and always shares a lot of his produce with me. One thing I really love is when he gives me a couple jars of his pepper relish.

When I think about all the time and effort that goes into making this relish, I appreciate it all the more. He loves doing this and sharing his bounty with friends and family though.

I try to savor this relish so it will last as long as possible. I have found that we really like it spread on grilled meat for the last few minutes of grilling time. This adds a unique flavor that is unlike anything

else I have tasted on meat.

We like it on just about every kind of meat, and have used it on chicken, beef and pork and never get tired of it. Once I run out, I know I have to wait until next year to get some more of this great relish.

andee
Post 4

I grow a lot of my own vegetables every year, and always grow peppers so I can make my own salsa and pepper relish. Once you get used to eating homemade dips and sauces like this, you can get kind of spoiled.

One of our favorite ways to eat pepper relish is mixed in with a little bit of cream cheese and spread on crackers. This makes a great snack and has the perfect combination of sweet and tangy.

I usually like a sweeter relish, so like to use the red bell peppers if I have enough of them. I have made relish with all different kinds of peppers, but this one is my favorite.

serenesurface
Post 3

@ankara-- I think how much you simmer the relish is a personal preference. The longer you simmer, the more uniform it's going to be. I personally like pepper relish a little chunky, so I don't think I would let it simmer for too long.

I haven't made my own pepper relish yet, but I get some from the farmer's market in the summer so it's completely homemade and fresh. I asked the farmer about the ingredients. I noticed that the relish is slightly tangy and apparently that's from the wine vinegar that he adds. This relish is a combination of red and hot peppers and he has several different kinds.

From what I understand, the base is sweet peppers and then he adds hot peppers in increasing amounts to make them hotter. I tried the very spicy one once and it was too hot, I couldn't eat it!

bluedolphin
Post 2

@MikeMason-- That's how I make it too! I just chop all the ingredients, let it boil then simmer on the stove for about an hour. I think if you simmer yours longer, it will taste even better.

The ingredients I use are similar to yours, except I use hot peppers because I like my relish spicy. I also add pectin at the end to give the ingredients a relish like texture. Sometime I add a bit of brown sugar as well.

I generally make two or three jars at a time. These last up to three weeks in the fridge. Of course, it lasts a lot longer if you freeze it.

Have you tried mixing homemade pepper relish with cream cheese as dipping with tortilla chips? It's amazing! Try it next time when you have people over, it will be a hit!

stoneMason
Post 1

My favorite pepper relish is made with sweet green and red peppers, along with sweet onion, garlic and tomatoes. It's so delicious and goes great with everything. I usually add it to sandwiches or as a topping on beef and chicken dishes. Sometimes I even eat it alone with some Fresh Italian bread. Yum!

I actually tried making it at home once because I eat way too much of it and the store-kind was getting expensive. I didn't even look up a recipe. I put all the ingredients with some olive oil and salt on the stove and let it cook for about twenty minutes. It turned out pretty good!

I only made a little bit though and

finished it up that day itself. It would be nice to make it in large amounts and store it in jars though. It would be all-natural and save me money too.

Does anyone make homemade pepper relish like that? How do you do it? And what ingredients do you use?

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