Corn Relish

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    1 pint jars

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

After hot corn-on-the-cob slathered with plenty of butter, and maybe succotash, and surely corn pudding and spoonbread ... well, suffice it to say that corn relish is high on any Southerner’s list of ways to use our many superior varieties of fresh summer corn. Of course, the arguments over whether white or yellow corn is ideal for relish will never end—white is supposedly sweeter, yellow has better texture, speckled is too pulpy, and on and on. The point on which there’s absolutely no debate, however, is that corn relish must be made only with fresh corn—preferably right out of the field—and that the milk scraped from the cobs is just as important as the plump kernels. And what do we serve corn relish with or on? Virtually anything and everything. I’m just waiting for someone to come up with a corn relish ice cream.


  • 12 medium ears fresh white corn
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 small red chile pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups white vinegar


Cut the kernels from the corn cobs into a large stainless-steel or enameled pot, then scrape as much of the corn milk as possible from the cobs into the pot. Add all remaining ingredients and stir till well blended. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, till most of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes.

Pack the relish into six 1-pint sterilized jars to within ¼ inch of the tops, seal, and store for about 1 month at room temperature before serving.