Loni's zucchini relish

Loni's zucchini relish. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times / August 16, 2012)

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 1 hour, plus 8 hours standing * Vegetarian

10 cups chopped zucchini (about 6 zucchini)

4 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped celery

2 large red bell peppers, chopped

5 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 1/2 cups vinegar, divided

6 cups sugar

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 tablespoon pepper

2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Combine the zucchini, onions, celery and peppers in a large glass mixing bowl. Cover with cold water and stir in the salt. Let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse 4 times in cold water.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/2 cup of vinegar and add to the vegetables along with the remaining 2 cups of vinegar, the sugar, nutmeg, turmeric, pepper, jalapenos and garlic.

Place the mixture in a large pot, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize the jars and lids, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the jars and lids in the hot water until you're ready to use them.

Fill the jars with the mixture to within 1/2 inch of the top, being careful to keep the jar rim clean. Cover each jar with the flat part of the lid and tighten the ring around it.

Place the jars in a large pot of boiling water and process 10 minutes (you may have to do this in batches). Remove the jars from the water and set them on dish towels in a cool place. After 30 minutes, press firmly on each lid. If the lid remains down, the seal is good. If the center of the lid springs back up, process in boiling water again.

7 to 8 pints. Each 1-tablespoon serving (per 8 pints): 18 calories; 10 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.17 gram fiber.