Tall rustling stalks swaying gently in the summer breeze never ceases to excite. When the cobs are fully formed with each perfectly shaped golden kernel, its pick’n time. Originating in Central America, the Spanish explorers in the 15th century introduced corn to the rest of the world. Eaten simply with butter or olive oil and salt and pepper or perhaps with a little chilli, a few sweet corn cobs can be meal by itself. Corn is so versatile it can be turned into fritters, char grilled on the BBQ with or without the husks to create an irresistible smoky flavour. It can be turned into luscious sweet corn soup- Chinese or Mexican style- or a chunky American Chowder. It can be served with other grains or turned into corn chips and tortilla for those that have the patience. In peak season, I always try to pick a few cobs to make a batch of this lively and crunchy relish. It’s perfect with BBQ chicken, sausages and burgers, vegetable quiche and frittata’s and provides a new twist to the Ploughman’s Lunch
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 60 minutes
Quantity 7 x 325 ml jars
Sterilise sealable glass jars and lids.
6 large fresh corns on the cob
½ small white cabbage, approx. 275 g shredded
2 small onions, finely chopped
475 ml apple cider vinegar
200 g raw sugar
1 red capsicum (bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped)
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
- Place the corn into a pot of boiling water and par cook for 2 minuets.
- Drain. When cool enough to handle, using a sharp knife, sliding the knife between the corn cob and kernel, remove the kernels.
- Place the kernels, shredded cabbage and finely chopped onion and the vinegar and sugar into the preserving pan.
- Bring slowly to the bowl and allow to simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Add the red capsicum and simmer for a further 10 minutes. All the vegetables should be cooked through with the capsicum retaining its vibrant red colour.
- Blend the salt, turmeric, cornflour, and mustard with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to make a smooth paste.
- Stir the paste into the vegetable mixtures, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. When the mixture cools down, it will set slightly thicker than when the mixture is hot.
- Use a funnel to pour into dry sterilised screw cap sealable bottles, fill to approximately 2.5cm (I inch) from the top of the bottle and seal.
- Seal, label and store in a cool dark place in the kitchen or pantry.
- Allow to mature for at least 2 weeks before eating.
- Use within 2-3 months and once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 months
- Select corn cobs which are fully formed, ripe and succulent as use as quickly as possible. As corn cobs mature both on the plant and after harvesting, the natural sugars convert to starch. This is nature’s way of slowly transforming the kernels from sweet moist edibles into a dry seed for next years planting. This relish is best when the fresh sweet kernels are used.
- Do not overcook the corn cobs when cooking to remove the kernels from the cob. The kernels will become mushy and overcooked in the second stage of cooking the relish.
- To retain the contrasting vibrant red colour of the red capsicum (bell pepper), do not add it with the cabbage. Add after the cabbage has been cooked and cook for approximately 15 minutes. This shorter cooking period will help to retain the red capsicum colour.
- Make a paste of the dry ingredients before adding to the hot mixture. Adding dry ingredients directly into a hot mixture will cause the dry ingredients to forms lumps, which can then be difficult to smooth out.
What’s the difference between a relish and chutney?
A relish is usually made with fruits that a cut into smaller pieces, more frequently made with whit or cider vinegar, generally made with a lower proportion of vinegar and sugar and cooked for a shorter time period. This results in bolder flavour with a fresher, crisper consistency.