Should some great explorer ever stumble upon the fountain of youth made famous in the history of Herodotus, we suspect it will be tinged goldenrod with miraculous turmeric. Also nick-named Indian saffron, both for its Asian pedigree and yellow coloring, this elixir of a spice is rumored to stave off all sorts of unpleasant maladies. Never ones to decline an opportunity for longevity, we like to slip a pinch of it into our pickle relish; its earthy, slightly peppery flavor is a pleasant foil to the condiment's sweetness. It also contributes a lovely hue. To avoid staining one's fingers, we advise delicate handling.
Spoon this relish over burgers, sausages, or sandwiches. We even like it atop the occasional pork chop.
- 4 cups finely chopped, unwaxed kirby cucumbers, skin left on (1½, to 1¾ pounds)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
- ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- One 2-cup canning jar, sterilized (see Notes)
1. Under a warm running tap, scrub the cucumbers well with a vegetable brush. Place the cucumbers, onion, and bell peppers in a large colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle 2½ teaspoons of the salt over the vegetables and toss to combine well. Let them stand for 3 hours, then discard any liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
2. Transfer the vegetables to a clean dish towel (we prefer towels cut from thin cloth, such as a flour sack). Bundle the vegetables tightly and squeeze them as strongly as one can manage, until no more liquid can be extracted.
3. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar completely dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, turmeric, black pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cinnamon stick; simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the relish is thick, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Fill the jar with the hot relish and seal, if desired (see Notes), or let cool to room temperature before chilling. Chilled, unprocessed relish will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.