We used to have a small patch of strawberry trees in our backyard when I was little, that my father tended to with great care. When I was a little older, I remember how my parents told me this story of how the strawberries kept going missing one time and they couldn’t figure out what was happening for months. They feared that birds or some animal was getting to them before they ever could. So out of exasperation my father apparently went out and got a bird net once and then set it up, only to find that the strawberries still kept disappearing. And then one fine day he went out to the backyard and caught the culprit red-handed (quite literally), and it turned out to be a very small version of yours truly! I thought it was hilarious and although I have no memory of this, I guess it goes to show how my liking for strawberries goes a long way back!
If you’re a regular on here you will know that I have an obsession for combining sweet and spicy flavour profiles. I think it’s a great way to challenge and enlighten your taste buds. I’ve always loved eating sweet and spicy tomato relish, so I figured it might work just as well with strawberries too. Strawberries pair so beautifully with savoury flavours like balsamic vinegar and black pepper, so I decided to make this beautifully bright red Strawberry Chilli Relish that you could use at home with whatever you fancy!
I made this relish/sauce a while back, but just never got around to posting it on the blog. Recently I was going through my photos and realized how beautiful this looked and just how perfect it would be in this brief season of all things love and red and pink. With that bright colour and the bold sweet and spicy flavour combo, this would be an amazing addition to any Valentine’s day meal. So whether it be a grilled chicken, a perfectly cooked steak, a sandwich, a salad, mac ‘n cheese or just straight up from the bottle/jar (like a boss!), this strawberry chilli relish will add a fantastic fruity sweetness and a spicy chilli kick.
So here goes the recipe!
- 1 lb/ 450g strawberries, hulled
- 3 tbsp chilli flakes/crushed red pepper (only add 1 tbsp if you have a relatively low tolerance to heat - this is a spicy relish with chilli flakes as the co-star!)
- 5.3 oz/ 150g sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Extra water to thin out the sauce (if needed)
- Chop the strawberries into smaller pieces.
- Add the strawberries and all the ingredients (except water) into a saucepan and mix well.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low-medium heat for about 40 minutes.
- Stir the relish from time to time to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
- If you like thick relish, keep it as is. If you prefer a pourable "sauce", add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out.
- Store this relish in a airtight jar, or a sterilized Glass Jar. It should stay fresh for about a week in a normal jar, but longer in a sterilized jar.
This is truly a fantastic relish! Since most of us go through relish quite a lot and quite frequently, it would be a great idea to start making some at home (you can even double this recipe easily) and I’m sure you will love this. Like I alluded to earlier, the possibilities are endless with a versatile relish like this. I have used this in so many things, including this delicious Spicy Strawberry Grilled Chicken that you see below and in sandwiches too.
- 2 boneless chicken thighs cut into strips
- 2 tbsp of spicy strawberry relish
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp pepper (optional)
- extra relish to serve
- Mix the chicken, salt, pepper and strawberry relish and marinade for at least 3 hours (overnight is better).
- Heat a grill pan or a nonstick pan to medium high heat.
- Brush the pan with some oil and grill the pieces of chicken (about 6 minutes since these are small pieces) until cooked through with grill marks (since there is sugar in the relish, the chicken pieces will darken, and that is okay)
- Let the pieces rest for a couple of minutes (sprinkle some salt to taste) and drizzle extra spicy strawberry relish.
- These strips of chicken will taste amazing in a salad! Toss it with crunchy lettuce, feta cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette, and you have a healthy and delicious grilled spicy strawberry chicken with a lettuce and feta salad.
And if you stop by next week, you will find another amazing recipe that used this relish. So do sign up for updates (in the subscription box below), so you won’t miss out!