I started making this relish when we were having endless weeks of above average heat. The grill became our best friend, and Larry was outside cooking up burgers, salmon and chicken, night after night.
A spoonful of my red onion, apple and raisin relish really sparked up our simple hot-weather meals. Now that it is finally cooler, I’m planning on serving it with roast chicken or pork tenderloin. Top crackers with thin slices of cheese or a “schmear” of cream cheese and you have a fast snack to serve with drinks.
Now that we are well into apple season, there are a slew of choices for apples that cook well. Although I like experimenting with new varieties – heirloom apples are trending now – I always seem to return to Granny Smiths for their juiciness, tart flavor and crisp texture. I was out of sherry vinegar when I made this batch (Williams Sonoma’s house brand is my favorite), so I substituted cider vinegar and got a good result.
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds (3 large) red onions, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
- zest and juice of 1 large navel orange
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
- 1 pinch cayenne
- fresh thyme leaves (optional garnish)
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, raisins, rum and thyme. Set aside.
- Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onions. Cook, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook on low heat for another 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft.
- Add the raisin mixture and the apples to the onions. Stir in the orange juice and zest, ginger and cayenne. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the relish, about 15 minutes.
- Serve the relish at room temperature. Its flavors will improve after a few days in the fridge.