Red Onion, Apple and Raisin Relish

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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.

Red Onion, Apple and Raisin Relish
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
A simple, homemade relish that highlights red onions, raisins and apples, the superstar fruit of fall.
  • 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)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, raisins, rum and thyme. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve the relish at room temperature. Its flavors will improve after a few days in the fridge.


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22 Responses to Red Onion, Apple and Raisin Relish

  1. Jayne October 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I have never had relish like this, I love discovering something different! I can just imagine this on top of cheese and a cracker! I love golden raisins too but rarely think to use them, good inspiration here!

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks, Jayne, and I should have mention how “unprocessed” it is…

  2. Lynda - TasteFood October 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    This relish is bursting with flavor! Beautiful photos, Liz.

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      Thanks, Lynda – it is hot again so this will go on grilled burgers tonight.

  3. Wendy Read October 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Ah..the photo and the relish look just delicious Liz! Love the citrus with vinegars, great combination 🙂

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      You are the master of this sort of recipe, Wendy, but thanks.

  4. The Wimpy Vegetarian October 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Oh wow, Liz! This looks gorgeous!!! And I love the flavors you’ve combined in it. Pinning this to make it too!! Love it!

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks, Susan – missing you and Myles and looking forward to when we meet again.

  5. Mary Platis October 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Wow, the flavors of FALL! Will add this to my Fall dishes~

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      Nice fall condiment, especially as it heats up again – shoot.

  6. sippitysup October 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    That relish is my kind of spark. It almost makes me wish for (another) heat wave. GREG

    • Liz October 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      Heat wave is here, GREG…Wish granted.

  7. Laura October 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Looks delicious. I love relishes and chutneys.

  8. Laura @ Family Spice October 15, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    This is beautiful! I will take a relish over a sauce on my food any day! Pinning it!

    • Liz October 15, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Hey Laura, I agree – and unprocessed too…

  9. Oui, Chef October 15, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Sounds refreshing and delicious, and I LOVE your photo, Liz!

    • Liz October 15, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Thanks, Steve – my photos are always a challenge for me.

  10. Carol Sacks October 15, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    What a lovely and interesting relish, Liz! I’m intrigued.

  11. Beth (OMG! Yummy) October 15, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I am intrigued too – I don’t usually make relishes but this is very intriguing – especially the part about pairing with so many things for a quick, taste-filled meal.

    • Liz October 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      It is hot again, so our grilled burgers tonight will be topped with some of my latest batch.

  12. Valentina October 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    this is absolutely lovely.

  13. Carole May 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Carole’s Chatter is collecting links for jams, jellies and relishes today. This is a nice one. I do hope you pop over and link in. This is the link . Cheers

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