Never mind today’s sleet and record-breaking cold temperatures in Boston. We’ve already started grilling. So what if we’re standing outside in our down coats instead of chili pepper-printed aprons? Spring traditions must go on.
The recipe for Lemon Relish that I found in Family Circle’s Illustrated Library of Cooking (1972) comes from the first of 16 volumes. It’s in a section called “American Classics,” which divides recipes by region. I speed-browsed right past New England and its foul weather to The West. The yellow and green ingredients in the relish sounded tempting, so I pulled out the blender. The relish can be used as a marinade or a condiment on almost anything. The bracing combination of scallions and lemon fights the chill.
Lemon Relish (1972)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2 large lemons
6 green onions, including green tops
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded [I used a yellow pepper]
1/4 cup parsley sprigs
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 small hot pepper, seeded and chopped [I used jalapeno] or 1/2 teaspoon liquid red pepper seasoning [such as Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot]
1 tablespoon sugar
1. Grate and reserve the lemon peel. Cut off all the remaining yellow and white peel from the lemons. Cut the lemons in half and remove the seeds.
2. Put the lemons, green onions, bell pepper, parsley, and celery through the coarse blade of a meat grinder or whirl coarsely in a blender. Stir in the reserved peel.
3. Add the mustard, cardamom, salt, hot pepper or pepper sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, overnight to ripen.