Pickle (Hot Dog) Relish

The perfect touch to top off the perfect (freshly-grilled) hot dog.


4 Cups cucumber (about 4-5 medium cukes), seeded and finely chopped

1 Cup white onion, peeled and finely chopped (1 large, or 2 med onions)

1/2 Cup seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper (approx 1 bell pepper)

2 Tbsp kosher or other non-iodized salt

1/2 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar

1-1/2 tsp cornstarch

3/4 Cup sugar

1/2 tsp Celery Seed

1/4 tsp Mustard Seed

1/4 tsp Ground Mustard

1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Freshly-ground Black Pepper


Peel the cucumbers after cutting off the stem and flower ends of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a dinner spoon.

Using a sharp knife, chop/mince the cucumbers (you can also do this with a food processor), and put chopped cucumber into a non-metal bowl.

Peel the onion and mince it into bits, about the size of the cucumber bits. Core and seed a red pepper, and also cut this into little bits. Add minced onion and red pepper to the cucumber bowl.

Sprinkle vegetable mix with the kosher salt and stir so that vegetables are well blended, and all are coated with the salt. (The salt is there to draw water out of the vegetables, and you’ll rinse off the extra later.)

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.

The next day, transfer the vegetables to a fine meshed sieve or colander and allow them to drain of excess liquid for a minute or two. Rinse lightly with cool water and allow to drain for a few minutes again. Using a wooden spoon, press the vegetables against the side of the sieve/colander and squeeze out the last bit of extra salt water.

In a medium (non-aluminum) saucepan, combine the cornstarch and white vinegar, whisking to dissolve the cornstarch. Add the spices and sugar to the vinegar and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

When the syrup is boiling and becoming translucent, about 8 – 10 min or less, add the minced vegetable mix. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Scoop the relish into clean, hot 8 oz canning jars leaving 1/2-inch of “head space”. Because we’re keeping this small-batch relish in the refrigerator, it’s not necessary to sterilize the jars, for this recipe. Screw on canning lids. **If you prefer to keep the relish long term in the pantry, process the sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once the jars are processed and sealed, sweet relish will keep at room temperature for up to 1 year.** Once opened, store the jars in the refrigerator. (If you’re new to pickling, take a quick look at our Pickling 101 tutorial for the basics on getting your pickle relish into the jar, and safely sealed).

If you opt to skip processing the jars in the hot water bath, allow the filled, sealed jars to cool to room temp and pop them in the fridge. The pickle relish will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Your pickle relish is ready to eat after 24 hours, but tastes even better if you let the flavors develop for a full week.

Makes a great hostess gift when you’re invited to a backyard cookout — this relish is delicious on hot dogs, kielbasa, bratwurst and even Italian sausage!