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Onion, Orange & Thyme Relish

This month’s Tigress’ Can Jam was all about alliums. I should know. I choose the topic (after a bit of consulting with Mrs. Tigress herself). My mad, wild, frenzied schedule had me down to the wire, working feverishly to get my recipe in by midnight tonight. I did it, though, folks, my burning eyes a testament to my allium accomplishment.

I didn’t go necessarily big or bold or molecularly gastronomic with this month’s challenge. I simply made something that used alliums, sounded delicious, accommodated my schedule, and rendered an end product that hubs and I would definitely eat. Onion & Thyme relish seemed just the thing. Using a recipe adapted from this book, I tweaked the ingredients a bit, substituting thyme for tarragon and tossing in some orange zest because it sounded delicious.

Looking forward to this olfactory arousing concoction to work its way into all sorts of dishes over the next year. Happy Allium-ing, ya’ll!

Onion, Orange & Thyme Relish
adapted from Blue Ribbon Preserves

You will need:

-8 c. chopped onions
-1 Tbsp. pickling salt
-1 c. granulated sugar
-1 3/4 c. red wine vinegar
-1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest

To make:
1) Layer 4 cups of the chopped onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 of the salt over them. Top off with remaining onions and then cover with last bit of salt.
2) Stir with a wooden spoon or clean hands. Cover loosely with a cloth and set aside at room temperature for 4 hours.
3) At the end of 4 hours, drain onions in a colander. No need to rinse them, simply press with the back of a large spoon to remove any excess liquid.
4) Sterilize 4 pint-sized mason jars, lids, and screw rings. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to boiling point. Place lids in a small saucepan, fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, remove from stovetop, and set aside.
5) While your canner works towards boiling, combine the sugar, vinegar, thyme, orange zest and garlic in a large saucepan or stockpot. Heat gradually over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring heat to medium-high until mixture comes to a boil.
6) Add onions to syrup, reduce heat to medium, stir to combine thoroughly, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
7) Remove sterilized jars from canner; place jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, fill jars with onion relish, reserving 1/2-inch headspace.
8) Use a non-metallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
9) Using a jar lifter, place jars in canner. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath (remember, don’t begin to count your processing time until the water is at a constant, rapid boil). Adjust for altitude, as needed.
10) Remove the jars from the canner. Check that a proper seal has formed (lids should become concave, you’ll have heard a popping sound, and the lids should remain attached to the jar when lifted without screw band).
11) Take off screw bands, wipe jars dry, and store in a cool, dark location. Use within one year.

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