Corn is king in my side-dish kingdom. Chewy, sweet, creamy, golden and flavorful, what’s not to like? You can bake it, grill it, roast it, grind it and eat it right off of the cob, but today I’m going to honor this native grain as an indispensable condiment. (Move over ketchup and mustard.) Corn relish is my absolute favorite savory thing to make and preserve, next to my sweet-sour pickles.
Corn relish celebrates summer using a medley of garden greats from fresh sweet corn to onions to roasted peppers. The recipe acts as a framework. Add what you like, and spice it up as you see fit, or as hot as your taste buds can tolerate.
So what do you do with corn relish? Everything! I add it to soups, salads, and stir fry; and mix it in a batter for fritters, hush puppies, cornbread and pancakes. I enjoy it naked on a spoon. (For clarification, the relish is unadulterated; I’m fully clothed.) I tuck it in quesadillas and spoon it on brats. Corn relish can stand alone or enhance another recipe or dish.
Easy to make and can, corn relish takes minimal cooking time and brings together the flavors of summer to be unleashed all year and in any dish you so choose. (Tip: Here’s a video on how I remove the kernels from the cob.)
As my favorite vegetable, corn and I go way back. As a young child, I recall a friend of my parents saying, “Corn? No thank you. In Italy, corn is what we feed to the pigs.” This first grader thought, “Those are some really lucky pigs.” (Oh well, at least I’m in good company.)