Corn relish has been around since the days of the Fannie Farmer cookbook, and it’s a staple of old-school Southern cooking. Your mother or grandmother — or anyone who canned fresh vegetables — likely had a go-to recipe for preserving fresh corn. More likely than not, that recipe was for an easy corn relish.
Relishes are hot these days, as savory jams, preserves, chutneys and salsas are gaining in popularity again. If you can put it in a jar and top your dinner with it, there’s suddenly a demand for it. Corn relish is no exception, though it’s just as likely to be called “corn salsa” when you encounter it at a trendy shop.
Instead of buying your corn relish in a shop, consider making your own, especially if you have a bounty of fresh corn to use up. It’s super easy to make and keeps well in the refrigerator. You can preserve it if you like, and save some for the cold months as well. (Simple canning guide.)
Curious about what to do with corn salsa or corn relish? Regardless of the recipe, it pairs well with lots of different dishes. You can use it in anything you’d like to give a Southwestern flavor.
How to use corn relish:
- Add to simple broiled fish or chicken
- Give some zing to burgers or hot dogs
- Spice up just about any Mexican food: nachos, quesadillas, burritos
- Stir into a pasta salad
- Add color and flavor to fish tacos
- Use anyplace you would use salsa — even with corn chips
- Top a salad or a baked potato for low-fat flavor
- Top a roast pork loin
Corn Relish/Corn Salsa Recipe
Fresh corn from 8 ears of corn, drained
2 or 3 medium-sized fresh tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup white sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch celery seed
1 pinch mustard seed
In a large saucepan, combine fresh corn, tomatoes, peppers, and onion. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, and spices, then pour over the corn mixture. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low for about one hour. Pour corn relish into sterile jars and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Corn salsa variations:
- Use jalapeno peppers instead of bell peppers for heat.
- Add a cup of black beans for an even more Tex-Mex vibe.
- Use fresh lime juice instead of vinegar.
- Add garlic for kick.