Sweet & Spicy Purslane Relish

Photo by Dominic Perri Photography

Photo by Dominic Perri Photography

Yields 2–3 half-pint jars

This recipe is adapted from the website LedaMeredith.com. If you’re new to boiling water bath canning, please visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation for USDA guidelines on safe home canning. If you don’t want to can the relish, store it in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. 

4 cups finely chopped fresh purslane, leaves and thick stems
2 medium-large onions, peeled
1 red or orange bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 hot pepper of your choice, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons sea salt
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup maple syrup or sugar
½ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash freshly ground pepper 

Put the chopped purslane in a stainless steel bowl. Finely chop or food-process the onions and peppers and add these to the purslane. 

Add the sea salt to the vegetables and mix well. Cover the bowl and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The salt draws out moisture from the vegetables, enhancing the overall texture and flavor of the relish. 

Drain the vegetables in a fine-mesh sieve or strainer for a couple of minutes. The liquid will be somewhat mucilaginous, courtesy of the purslane! Discard the liquid or use for another purpose. Rinse the vegetables with cold water and drain for a few more minutes. Using a wooden spoon, carefully press the vegetables against the sieve to release more liquid. 

Bring the vinegar, maple syrup, and spices to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Once boiling, add the vegetables. Let the mixture return to a boil then immediately turn it off. 

Strain the relish in a sieve placed over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Loosely pack the relish into clean, hot canning jars leaving at least ½ inch of headspace (empty space at the top of the jar). Pour the hot brine over the relish, being sure the vegetables are completely submerged and the headspace remains at ½ inch. 

Wipe the rims of jars with a clean paper towel and screw on canning lids. Tighten them all the way then loosen each slightly so air can escape during canning. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once jars are processed and sealed they will keep at room temperature for a year. Once opened, keep the relish in the refrigerator. 

Tempted to eat it right away? Go ahead, but the flavor will improve after a week.