Sweet Corn Relish


Cincinnati is often referred to as the gateway to the South and that moniker is pretty accurate. We’re not the South, but we share their heat and humidity and many of their culinary traditions. Most of us here have an aunt or grandma or uncle or black sheep brother living south of the Mason-Dixon line, and their favorite menu items have a way of slipping into our rotation. . . because we also have the southern sense of hospitality here.

This relish is made in the southern tradition—simple, sweet, and acidic. We used Weber’s onions and sweet corn—picked that morning, canned by mid-day—CHF peppers and MadHouse Apple Cider Vinegar. The only ingredients not found locally are the sugar and salt.

This is perfect as a dressing for a salad, a topping for sausage, hotdogs, hamburgers, ham sammiches, and even as a side dish instead of slaw with pulled pork.


24 ears of corn
2 cups sugar
3 TBSP salt
6 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
2 medium onions (diced)
4 bell peppers (combo of red, green, and yellow), skinned and diced

Yields: 9 pints


You can make these as quick pickles and store in the fridge for up to 3 months—disperse the jars amongst friends or neighbors. But if you would like to pickle and preserve these in your pantry for up to a year, set up your canning station now. By the time your water canning pot is boiling, these should be packed and ready to go in the bath.

Shuck corn, clean well, then cut all kernels off. We do this by setting the end of the corn in a roasting pan and cutting into the pan so that kernels don’t fly all over the kitchen. (Please do yourself a favor and save all of the corn bones to make corn stock.)

Blacken the skin of the peppers, either on your stove top (if you have a gas stove), on a grill, or under the broiler in your oven. Once peppers are fully blackened, their skin should rub off under cold running water with ease. Dice and mix with corn. Dice onions and mix with rest of veggies.

In a large stock pot bring vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and add all of the rest of the ingredients (carefully, so you don’t splash). Stir well and cook for 15 minutes.

When ready to can, pack jars. Use a slotted spoon to fill with vegetable filling, then pour liquid over to fill within 1/4 of the lip of the jar. Remove any air bubbles, put on lid, and gently screw on band.

If quick pickling, allow the jars too cool and then put in the fridge.

If canning, submerge in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull out and set to cool in a draft free location for a minimum of 6 hours. Check for proper seal once cooled. If sealed, great! If not sealed, put ‘em in the fridge.

Variations: This would be amazing using MhV’s sweet corn vinegar and would undoubtedly preserve even more of the sweet corn flavor of the relish. If you like it spicy, you could add a few slices of jalapeño pepper to each jar as you pack them.