A relish consists mainly of chopped fruits or vegetables with spices creating a tangy sauce to complement a myriad of foods. The Winter Squash is featured in this Southwestern Squash Relish recipe.
Winter squash are related to melons and cucumbers, coming in several varieties including: Butternut, Acorn, Turban, Hubbard, and Pumpkins. Because of their hard shells you can store uncooked winter squash up to six months.
Packed with vitamins and nutrients, a diet high in Winter Squash may keep you from a heart attack or stroke because of its high beta-carotene content (that’s what prevents oxidation of cholesterol which builds up, block blood vessel walls). The USDA reports ‘winter squash is packed with vitamin A, C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese and is a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, niacin and copper’.
Southwestern Squash Relish
5 cups Winter Squash (your favorite variety) – rinsed, seeded and chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper – rinsed, seeded and chopped
½ cup full kernel Corn
3 White Onions – skinned and chopped
2 Hot Peppers – rinsed, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/4 cups Vinegar
2 cups Sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Mix the chopped vegetables with salt and let stand 1-2 hours
Drain and rinse twice in cool water
Mix remaining ingredients, bring to boil and add vegetables
Cook 15-20 minutes over low heat, stir occasionally
Refrigerate overnight after letting cool and spooning relish into airtight jars
Serve with red beans and cornbread or use a tsp under a burger for a delicious Southwestern treat
Winter Squash Tips:
1. Preparation: Wash thoroughly under running water. Cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove all of the seeds. (Seeds can be dried and used for either planting or cooking). Squash may be used peeled or unpeeled depending upon your recipe.
2. Careful selection will avoid squash decay. Avoid rinds that have a glossy appearance or darkened areas. Avoid soft rinds which may indicate a watery squash void of flavor. Select squash which have dull rinds and feel heavy in relation to size
Other Winter Squash Serving Ideas:
1. Using your favorite vegetable soup recipe, add cubed winter squash
2. Cook cubed winter squash then tope with maple syrup and cinnamon
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