Corn Relish

You know one of the reasons why hot dogs are such favorites with kids? Well, at least when I was a kid we got to choose our own toppings. The act of getting the toppings on just right, without making a complete mess, was challenging. But we had such a feeling of accomplishment, keeping the mustard or ketchup inside of the bun instead of all over the floor. Of course, eating the hot dog was another matter. Hard to avoid that mess. ;-) My favorite topping, next to mustard of course, was sweet relish, which I would pile on with gusto. I do believe the reason they wrap hot dogs in paper at ball games is to catch the relish, so you can still eat it, and not waste a morsel. Right?

This recipe is for a sweet corn relish which, I’m happy to announce, is delicious served over hot dogs. (That is if you are a relish-on-your-hot-dog kinda person.) I’m at a loss as to how else to eat it. Maybe on a taco? Or with pork? I’ve been dipping into the jar in the fridge with a spoon for an afternoon snack. Anyway, beautiful big ears of fresh corn have been plentiful at the market lately and I just couldn’t resist.

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Corn Relish Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 3-4 pints.

You can easily double this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups corn kernels (cut from 4-6 ears, depending on how big the ears are)
  • 2 plum or Roma tomatoes, diced the size of a corn kernel
  • 1 red or green serano chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Method

1 Working in batches if necessary, pulse the cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers in a food processor just 3 or 4 pulses, so they are still distinguishable from each other, not puréed.

2 Place mixture in a medium-sized (4 to 6-quart), thick-bottomed pot. Add the corn, tomatoes, serano chiles, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, turmeric, mustard seed, and ground cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.

3 Spoon the corn relish into clean jars and seal. Will last for 4-6 weeks refrigerated.

If you would like to store your pickles outside of the refrigerator, sterilize canning jars before canning, and process the relish-filled jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes after canning. Review more detailed canning instructions in our recipe for bread and butter pickles.

Serve with hot dogs, in tacos, or with pork.

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32 Comments

  1. Michelle in NZ

    That relish looks so delicious, especially from a chilly winter’s night. For a quickly made dip try mixing some of your corn relish with an equal amount of sour cream – easy and yummy.

    Oh there’s an idea, thanks! ~Elise

  2. Sanjeeta kk

    Thanks for the explanation. Lovely recipe, must try with Indian bread- chapatti wraps.

  3. Jennifer Jo

    That’s the thing with relishes. You kind of need to eat them with a hot dog—there’s not much more they go with. I make a zucchini relish (http://bit.ly/bVXFGg) that we ADORE on hot dogs, and I think I’d really like this relish, too. But I can only eat so many hot dogs…

    • rebecca

      Also very good with any kind of poultry…also as a condiment to sandwiches, wraps, etc..

  4. Chad

    ” I’m at a loss as to how else to eat it. “

    I’ve had this folded in with cream cheese to make dip. It’s fantastic, especially if you added in a spicy pepper to the relish.

  5. Lesley S.

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My grandmother made fantastic corn relish, but unfortunately she never wrote down the recipe. I’m excited to give this a try. I’m from Tennessee and we always have corn relish with our soup beans (usually pinto or navy beans – especially delicious with some nice mettwurst sausage and corn bread). I’m going to surprise my mom with a jar of this very soon. Have a great holiday weekend and thanks for such a wonderful website. We use your recipes at least a few of times per week.

    Hmm, we like salsa and beans, so I can see corn relish and beans working too, thanks! ~Elise

  6. jonathan

    You’re at a loss as to how else to eat it? Allow me to recommend…….a spoon. I might be inclined to dip some shrimp into this. Of all the foods of summer, when it’s finally over, fresh corn is what I miss the most.

    Oh, I’ve got the spoon thing down, believe me! Ate an entire pint of it sans hot dogs. The corn is good in summer, isn’t it? :-) ~Elise

  7. Dana

    I bet this would be great on top of some grilled chicken or other protien. I would also mix a little in with rice/couscous/quinoa for a quick and tasty side dish.

    Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

  8. Kathleen

    Adding a heaping spoonful to some cottage cheese is excellent. The contrast between the tangy and the creamy is very satisfying.

    Great idea, thanks! I love cottage cheese. ~Elise

  9. lisa

    Do you think you could leave out the sugar if you wanted a non-sweet relish or would that just make a mess out of the recipe?

    Well, they are sweet pickles, and you need sugar to make sweet pickles. So, for my taste, yes that would make a mess of things. But you might want to try it anyway and see if you like it. While you’re cooking the corn, you can always add sugar to taste if you decide you want some. Just make sure it’s thoroughly dissolved before canning or storing. ~Elise

  10. chris

    Ditto Chad. It would be absolutely fabulous with beans, southern style of course.

  11. Miranda Merten

    I never thought of eating corn relish on a hot dog. That is a new one for me, but a definite addition to my “try this” pile. Corn salsa is also great with fish dishes: like tilapia breaded in panko and sauteed. Yum!

  12. Kathleen

    I love this recipe and it was my mother’s favorite. She used it on lots of different sandwiches. I love it on grilled fish. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Sara

    You know, I never even thought of eating corn relish on hot dogs. Growing up, it was always a side dish – my mom made it very chunky, so we ate it like a side salad/slaw. Hot dogs – what a concept! :-)

  14. Susan

    Looks tasty. I’d scoop it up with tortilla chips, like pico de gallo.

  15. Susan

    As Dana suggested, eating corn relish with cottage cheese is a great combination and part of a classic relish tray that I remember from family style restaurants in the Midwest. The tray would often include apple butter, sometimes pickled herring(where did that come from?)and lots of crackers in clear wrappers.

    I have a part-time catering business with many clients in Maryland, and one of my most popular hors d’oeuvres is a mini crabcake topped with a little corn relish. A great way to get many summertime flavors of the Chesapeake Bay region in one bite!

    Mmm, pickled herring. Seriously, I love the stuff. Usually with cottage cheese I use sardines, no kidding. Love it. Thanks for the suggestion of corn relish on crab cakes, makes sense! ~Elise

    • joan

      the pickled herring in the Midwest is I think the Scandinavian influence…I am Danish and we always have herring for an appetizer

  16. Elizabeth Robertson

    A spoonful or two added to scrambled eggs would also be nice, and i thick it would be good with ham…..

  17. Chris Howard

    The hubby and I like to add a layer of corn relish to a humble lunch meat sandwich (it goes particularly well with ham). It can make it a little messy to eat, but it’s so, so worth it.

  18. cardshoot

    Relish is good with so many things. Eat it along with creamed corn and peas,or with greens(mustard, collard, turnip). Put a little on a hamburger, or a lot if you like it(or try some sweet pickles instead of sour dill, lime pickles are excellent). Relish should be good with fried fish because sweet, lime pickles are. I love to mix creamed corn, field peas, relish and raw diced onion all together(looks nasty but tastes oh so good. Eat it with butterbeans of any type. You might try a little along with some roast beef. Whatever you have that is not really sweet will probably make a nice counterpoint flavor to any relish. Just try a little on the side with vegetables or meats to see if the flavors mesh or enhance each other

  19. rebecca h.

    I bet it would be great dolloped on top of a bowl of black bean soup, in the style of pistou, with creme fraiche or sour cream, or in quesadillas!!

    …or with fish and chips, especially cod or halibut with lots of lemon and sweet chili sauce.

  20. a.g.b.

    Hi Elise: other readers have suggested eating this as a dip for tortilla chips. You should try it! Trader Joe’s has a corn and red pepper salsa in their salsa section, and it is very similar to this. I have used their jarred stuff as fajita/taco topping, and definitely for chips. I made yours today and it was phenomenal. I’d use it for the same things. :-) with some sour cream and avocado slices!

  21. Carleen

    Fantastic! I grew up in Texas and am dismayed that I don’t see corn relish anywhere in California. My family used to go an amazing cajun-style seafood restaurant that would make toast out of the previous day’s rolls and serve a bowl of corn relish to spoon over the toast… simple, yet amazing!

  22. The Healthy Apple

    What a perfect recipe for a late summer dish…this is great with a breakfast omelet, an afternoon salad or an evening fish dish….thank you! Happy Labor Day!

  23. Jeanny

    This may solve the problem of what to put on my lamb and chicken bratwurst! I made some tonight, and, of course, got all the way to the end without having checked my apple cider vinegar supply. Only had half a cup. I used the rest of the white wine vinegar and some sherry vinegar diluted with a little water. The color’s off, thanks to the sherry vinegar, but the taste is good.

    I also cut the sugar because I’m not a huge fan of really sweet relishes. Still tasty!

  24. CandiceM

    Made this on the weekend and it is so so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. Marcie

    I just made a batch of this and will try mixing it into tuna salad! Thanks for the great recipe–it’s delicious.

  26. Bugga

    I grew up always having corn relish in the fridge. It’s my favorite relish to put on hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s also absolutely delicious on a sandwich of cold meatloaf and corn relish, on toasted cheese bread.

  27. Phyllis

    I have to watch my sodium intake, can the kosher salt be eliminated or at least cut to 1 tsp?

    You can cut the salt to whatever you want. Just make sure not to cut the vinegar. ~Elise

  28. Diane Seeley

    I love corn relish on my salad, as it really perks up the taste. I also put a heaping tablespoon in my macaroni salad. It’s always raved on among friends

  29. dundee

    Absolutely wonderful!! I used Splenda and added black beans. Just delicious, many thanks.

  30. liz

    great with cottage cheese on triscuits. no lie.

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