There was a time when we never failed to celebrated the year-end holidays without jellied cranberry sauce which would slip all over the plate, and it was usually accompanied by a relish selection from celery stalks, red-stuffed green olives and maybe some bright red radishes. Not very exciting.
One very frightening year we had no jellied cranberry sauce at all, because the berries were deemed cancerous. It was a bit stunning.
Once our cranberries were released from their evil bondage, we branched out and started fooling with the bags of real cranberries, then we added fresh oranges, plus and our own twists. One year a gal at NPR told us her mom added sour cream to her unjellied, uncooked orange and cranberry relish mixture. Most of us eagerly did this, and it gave our “relish-du-jour” a warm, purplish, creamy look. We were on a roll, and slowly we have embraced dipping sauces, tampanades, hummuses and salsas.
Now, just about anything goes when it comes to holiday kitchen freedom. We are free to blend cultures in our kitchens, mole and chili from Mexico, salty concoctions from Asia and more exactly, the relishes we do make are more closely aligned with India and her chutneys, relishes made for every meal, to compliment the other food. A case in point is the bottled condiments we place on our hamburgers and hot dogs.
Chutneys, or any relishes, are usually chopped fruit or vegetables, which form a contrast with tartness, sweetness, savoriness, saltiness, sourness – in short a pleasant tang. They are usually partially sautéed, as well.
You can design your own relish by examining the modular Chutney, Build Your Own on this site for detailed lists of suggested ingredients.
Be daring, you won’t spoil the meal. Another truism is you will probably never make the exact same relish twice!
Below are foodsites with relish recipes.