Canning Mixed Vegetable Relish

Ian Lai conducted another food preservation workshop at the Garratt Wellness Center organised by the Richmond Food Security Society. For this workshop, Ian decided to make a Mixed Vegetable Relish from the glut of vegetables he got from the Richmond Sharing Farm.


The vegetables includes zucchini, squash, chard and carrot.


We managed to can 14 x 1 liter jars of the Mixed Vegetable Relish for the food bank. This Mixed Vegetable Relish can be used to make a vegetable lasagna or making it into a soup by adding stock and your favourite grain.


  • squash
  • zucchini
  • carrot
  • onion
  • tomato paste
  • can dice tomato
  • assorted chili pepper (Nanami Togarashi), a Japanese spice mix which is available from Fujiya Japanese store. Ian jokingly said that this is his favourite spice mix for 2010.


You may click on the image of the package to have a larger view.

Ian does not provide a specific measurement for this recipe. In fact, Ian told us that he cooks by feel and he is a not a strict recipe follower.

Source: Ian Lai

Yields 14 x 1 liter jars.


Wash hands.

Sterilize jars in boiling water, soak lids and rings in boiled water for 5 minutes.


Peel and chop carrots small. You may just scrub the carrots to retain the nutrition on the skin.

Peel and chop onions small.


Derib chard, chop ribs and leaves, keep separate as they need to be cooked separately.


Core zucchini and squash, cut into medium dice. The core can be spongy and seeds are not good. They are cut medium dice because they cook fast and this way they will retain their shape after cooking.


Cook onions, carrots, zucchini, squash, chard ribs and chard leaves separately with some olive oil and season with salt. Ian told us that it’s important to season the vegetables as you cook and not at the end as the vegetables will taste better this way. The vegetables are cooked separately because each require different amount of time to cook. You do not want to cook them together as some will be overcooked while the other undercooked.


Combine the cooked vegetables and stir to mix.


Prepare the sauce by combining the dice tomatoes and tomato paste. Use a bit of water to rinse out the tomato paste can and add the liquids to the sauce which helps to thin out the sauce a bit.


Season the sauce with spice mix and salt. You may flavour the sauce with fennel seeds, dill seeds or even the stem from basil.


Combine the cooked vegetables with the sauce and season with more salt and spices if needed.



You may now fill the jar with the relish, tap it to get rid of bubbles and make sure it is packed leaving 1 inch of head space, wipe the rim, center snap the lid, screw on the ring until finger tip tightness, place the can into the canning jar with boiling water making sure the water is at least 1 inch above the jars, cover and bring to a boil and cooked for 30 minutes for 1 liter jar. Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. Make sure that the jars pop after cooling and the lid is concave for a proper seal.

Ian, thank you for another great workshop.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. etranger

    Considering the amount of non-acidic vegetable and the lack of vinegar (or did I miss it?) shouldn’t this be canned in a pressure canner? I am just figuring out what things have to be pressure canned and which don’t, as I only have a pressure cooker not a pressure canner.

    Preservation details aside, the relish looks very good and I will try to make some. Time for a trip to the farm stand!

  2. Ian Lai

    I have heard others comment on this. Yes, please feel free to lower the pH by adding acid or pressure can this product. I opened a jar this weekend to test and it is wonderful!

  3. etranger

    So is it about equal quantities of each vegetable (not counting chard stems)? Looks like about half as much tomato volume as the rest of the vegetables combined.

  4. egirlwonder

    Great post Suanne – looks like this will be the base for a great stew or pot of soup in the winter!

    etranger – you should definitely use a pressure canner (which is just a big old’ pressure cooker with weights on it to regulate the pressure better) if the food is neutral (e.g. non-acidic) or not packed with sugar (e.g. jam does not need to be pressure canned). I don’t have any canning posts on my DIY blog yet, but there should be some coming by the end of the month:

    1. Ben

      Hey egirlwonder: I did not know you have ANOTHER blog too. Interesting. BTW, what’s the story behind the name “Parker Pages”? Ben

  5. Marty

    This looks as if it is a low-acid preparation, and pressure canning would be mandatory.

  6. Marty

    Actually my last comment was pretty tame, but this recipe is downright dangerous to be posting on the net with water-bath canning instructions. However, pressure canning would change this recipe drastically. Also, people who don’t know better won’t see these comments, they will only see the main article. So, my advice? Take down the article, it is dangerous. Or, tell people to store it in the refrigerator.
    I am a canner of 25 years and would be considered an expert canner.

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