Dill Pickle Relish Recipe: Instead of Paying My Bills, I Spent All Afternoon Chopping Cucumbers

  • By: Linda Simpson
  • Date: August 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Last summer I made the recipe for dill relish from the Ball Book.  It was pretty delicious.  The original recipe calls to shred the cucumbers with a food processor, though, and I ended up acting like a four year old about it all winter.  (like this: RELISH IS SUPPOSED TO BE LITTLE TINY CUBES OF CUCUMBER.  THE STUFF FROM THE GROCERY STORE IS IN CUBES, NOT SHREDDED. WHY ISN’T THIS LIKE THAT.)  

The other day, I decided that I really, really didn’t want to do any of the important stuff I was supposed to be working on, and that spending the afternoon chopping cucumbers into a 2 mm. dice would be a much more productive use of my time.

I’m pleased to let you know that the work was totally worth it, and this relish is so awesome it makes me want to eat hot dogs every day.  

pickling cucumbers

Chopping all these cukes wasn’t as awful as you’d think, either.  If you’re the kind of crazy person who likes to prep giant piles of citrus fruit for marmalade (like me) then this is actually a wonderfully relaxing project. If you’re normal,  you can definitely just use the food processor instead and it still tastes great.  DILL RELISH, adapted from the recipe in the Ball Book of Home Preserving

Brunoise means to cut into very small dice, between 2 and 4 mm.  (It’s funny because if you know happen to know what “brunoise” means, you’ll probably notice that I did a really lame job of actually doing it properly.)  

Don’t be scared by the fancy word though: the idea is just that you’re cutting the cucumber and onion into teeny pieces.  If you don’t want to, just shred it.

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Makes: 14 pints

Cook Time: ha! hours.


  • 12 lbs. pickling cucumbers, brunoised
  • 2 onions, brunoised
  • 3/4 c. kosher salt
  • 6 c. water
  • 3 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/4 c. chopped dill fronds and blossoms
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 6 c. white vinegar

Combine the cucumbers, onions, water, and salt in a nonreactive container.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Prepare boiling water canner, jars, and lids.

Drain the cucumber mixture and then rinse it thoroughly with cold water.  

Transfer the drained mixture into a large, nonreactive pot.

Add the vinegar, turmeric, celery seed, dill, and sugar and bring to a boil.  

Turn heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle the hot relish into hot, clean jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.  

Use a wooden chopstick to remove air bubbles and adjust the headspace.

Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath, adjusting for altitude as necessary.

PS: I didn’t remove the air bubbles as well as I should have, and ended up with a couple of jars that have way too much headspace.  Don’t skip this step!

10 thoughts on “Instead of Paying My Bills, I Spent All Afternoon Chopping Cucumbers: Dill Relish Recipe”

  1. Hooray! Food!Love the title of this post! I’d also never heard the term “brunoise” and love learning new foodie vocabulary. Thanks for sharing!
  2. seasonedwithsarcasm Thank you for this! I’ve been eyeing up bushels of cucumbers at the farm I go to for things I didn’t grow this year (or didn’t grow enough of) and this gives me an excuse to pick up a bunch of them!
  3. ElizabethI cannot find dill blossoms anywhere in Ukiah! Thoughts? Is it OK to just use the packaged fronds for this recipe? Not having the blossoms is breaking my pickle-making heart a little.
    1. CarolineElizabeth- yes, you can use the packaged fronds. you can also use a combination of the fronds and some dried dill seed. both will taste great. BUT i think Raley’s might have dill. I haven’t checked this year, but in the past, they’ve sold big huge bunches of flowering dill for super cheap during the summer. Give it a try!
  4. Gaylene KingMade this recipe today!!! So easy. Just a little tip we used: to cube the cucumbers and onions we have a “Vidalia Onion Chopper”. We cubed 12 lbs of cucumbers in about 30 minutes. Uniform and just wonderful. Thanks for this recipe.
    1. CarolineGaylene super jealous that you had a chopper….. that would have made life a lot easier!
  5. Shawn StefanskiI did me thing when I made my relish. I also added some diced peppers to the mix and it turned out delicious. That was last year nd I have 1 precious jar left. My cucumbers did not do well this year. Next year I will be back to dicing my day away.
  6. Cinamon ZinkHow long do these need to sit before eating? I can’t wait to try the ones I’m making today!Reply
    1. Caroline days should be fine.
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