It seems like every Southern cook has her own beloved recipe for corn relish. What unites all of these different versions is that they feature brightly colored vegetables – yellow corn, red and/or green bell pepper – in a tart-sweet brine that’s usually made of equal parts sugar and vinegar with spices added. It’s common to make a large batch at the height of the summer corn harvest and preserve it so those summer flavors can be enjoyed all year long. This recipe is for a quick refrigerator pickle that can be devoured the same day it is made.
I like to serve corn relish just as you’d serve pickle relish or fresh salsa. It works as a topping for hot dogs or hamburgers, added to potato salad, with chips for scooping, in a taco or burrito, or as a bright counterpoint to deep-fried foods such as popcorn shrimp, fried chicken or savory fritters of any kind. Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to turn it into a hearty summer salad.