This fresh green tomato relish is the perfect condiment for your BBQ meats! It's great for enjoying throughout the year with this canning method - and it has a delicious sweet and tangy flavor that's full of festive spices like clove, cinnamon, and turmeric.
🌟 Why this recipe works
If you love pickling recipes full of chunky vegetables and sweet flavors, this green tomato relish is for you. It's so easy to make using the water bath canner - and the recipe makes enough jars to last you a year.
Green tomato relish goes with anything! It's commonly spooned on top of hot dogs, burgers, ribs, pasta recipes, spread in sandwiches, mixed into salads, the list goes on. Sweet tomato relish is the best condiment!
You can even mix the flavors with some spicy red pepper flakes or make it more savory with mustard seed and celery seed. The possibilities are endless with relish recipes, and this one combines fresh green tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and warming spices.
The combination of green tomatoes and bell peppers gives the relish a slight sweetness and the sugar and spices. And the onion and vinegar contribute to the acidic tang that balances everything together.
Using a water bath canner to process the relish is so easy to do with long-lasting results too, so you can enjoy eating this delicious relish any time of the year without running out, which helps save money.
It's just a point of pride for me to only give you what's truly good! But first, I must tell you that this is not a recipe that I developed.Jane
I found it in this book that was sent to me to review about 2 months ago. It the Best of Bridge Home Preserving book published by the Robert Rose company. The Best of Bridge books are Canada's favorite cookbook series and can be ordered from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This book is a great resource for anyone who is thinking about canning and need all the directions and tips in one place. The good thing about all the recipes is that the amounts of ingredients are given is customary units (used in the United States) and metric. The easy to understand and detailed instructions provide all the information that you need before beginning any canning project, and there's even a section in the back of the book with additional recipes using some of the preserves. I highly recommend this book for beginning canners as well as experienced ones because there's something for everyone.Jane
Recipe courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
🍽 Key Ingredients
The key to making the best green tomato relish recipe is to use fresh ingredients from the garden.
Vegetables - Use fresh green tomatoes (any shape or size), red and green peppers, and white onions.
I got mine from our garden. Recently Leo started pulling up the tomato plants and I went along behind him scooping up as many green tomatoes as I possibly could. Since then, we've had some Fried Green Tomatoes and I've made 2 batches of this relish. I think I love green tomatoes almost as much as ripe ones!Jane
Spices - The pickling liquid is infused with warming spices of cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and pickling spice.
Salt - For best results, use pickling salt or canning salt. This type of salt is special for relish recipes and is better than kosher salt.
Sugar - Use granulated sugar. It dissolves much faster than brown sugar and doesn't discolor the liquid.
Vinegar - White vinegar is strong and clear, perfect for balancing the flavors and giving clear clarity.
You could swap the white vinegar for a san equal substitute for apple cider vinegar.
🔪 How to make
This green tomato relish recipe is easy to make using my guided instructions and helpful top tips. Once the veggies have soaked overnight, they are drained, boiled, jarred, and processed before consuming!
After rinsing your tomatoes, you will need to slice them rather thinly. I have found that a knife with a serrated edge is best for that job.
Put the sliced tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.
Wash 5 green bell peppers and 4 red ones. These all came out of our garden. (Have I mentioned that I put Epson salts on our pepper plants this year and that we've had an abundance of them? It really works!)
Peel, halve, and slice 4 large onions. These also came from our garden and since these were smaller, I used more than 4.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, peppers, and onions and add 1 cup of pickling or canning salt. (I do this in layers.)
Don't be tempted to use regular salt because the additives in regular salt will make your preserves cloudy. Have you ever wondered why you add salt to preserves? According to this book, salt draws the juices out of vegetables and fruits, allowing the pickling liquid or brine to enter the cells and preserve the food. It also contributes to the texture. There are all sorts of helpful tidbits and tips sprinkled through this book.
Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight.
The next day, working in batches, put the vegetables in a colander and drain the vegetables and rinse well. Drain again and squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside in the colander to continue draining.
Meanwhile, wash and then sterilize 10 pint jars by putting them in boiling water for 10 minutes. ( I use the canner to do this.)
In a smaller pot, bring 10 lids and screw bands to a simmer. (Lids must be new, but you can reuse screw bands.)
Combine the drained vegetables, 6 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons pickling spice, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cloves, and 4 cups white vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring often, for about 30 minutes or until onions are translucent and relish is slightly thickened.
Ladle hot relish into the jars to within ½ inch of the rim. To really pack the jars well, I use a spatula to push down the veggies and I also pour out the extra vinegar solution until I get the jar filled. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth, apply the prepared lids and bands, and tighten just until finger-tip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Turn off the canner and remove the lid. Let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes.
💭 Cooking tips
If you want your relish finely chopped, you can use a food processor to pulse the tomato relish vegetables quickly.
Enhance the taste
For best results, allow the green tomato relish to infuse its flavors for a month before consuming it.
📖 Recipe Variations
Three delicious variations of this green tomato relish recipe using the same ingredients.
Green tomato chow chow relish
This variation is a Southern favorite and omits the bell peppers for 5 cups of chopped cabbage. It's also not as sweet as you only need 1 cup of sugar, and it swaps the cinnamon, clove, and pickling spice for a teaspoon of celery seed and mustard seed.
Spicy green tomato relish
Give the relish some extra heat by adding a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the boiling pot and adding 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos to the vegetable mixture for soaking.
Green tomato chutney
To turn relish into a chutney, boil the ingredients until the mixture is nearly dry, around 40 minutes. It will be thick, need stirring frequently, and stick to the back of a spoon when the consistency is good.
🥗 What to serve with
Green tomato relish is a delicious condiment served at BBQs to smother over meats and mix into healthy salads for a sweet and tangy kick. It has many uses, and here are some of my favorites.
One of my family's favorite recipes is meatloaf, and it's such a simple recipe to make with ground beef and a few sauces mixed. Top with a healthy spoonful of green tomato relish for a flavorful, delicious dinner.
Hot dogs and hamburgers
Every barbecue needs a tasty condiment for the burger, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken wings. And you won't find a better one to WOW your guests than this homemade tomato relish!
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat raw green tomatoes?
Yes, green tomatoes taste similar to red ones, but with more tang. They are juicy and sweet with lots of healthy nutrients.
How can you tell if a green tomato is ripe?
You can tell if the green tomatoes are ripe by gently pressing them. They will feel soft, just like red tomatoes.
Green tomato relish is a super convenient condiment that will last well over a year to use anytime you want.
Room temperature - Ensure that the processed jars have been cleaned and wiped before storing them in a cupboard away from sunshine. They will last for a year unopened at room temperature and a month in the fridge once opened.
Fridge - Place jars in the fridge, and store them for 18 months for best results. Once opened, consume within a month.
🍳 Related recipes
If you like this green tomato relish recipe then you should try one of my delicious homemade canning recipes this summer!
👪 Serving Size
This green tomato relish recipe is perfect for providing enough relish to fill 10 half pint-sized jars, which should be enough to last a long time on your favorite meals.
It's easy to make for any home cook with a water bath canner, and it's a great money-saving recipe that tastes far superior to store-bought green tomato relish. Give it a try - you won't regret it!
Looking for more canning recipes? Check my best mason jars recipes collection with delicious recipes that you can make at home.
Green Tomato Relish
- 7 ½ pounds green tomatoes thinly sliced
- 5 green bell peppers quartered, seeded, and sliced
- 4 red bell peppers quartered, seeded, and sliced
- 4 large onions halved and sliced
- 1 cup pickling or canning salt
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 cups white vinegar
- In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, onions, and salt. Cover and let stand at a cool room temperature overnight.
- In a colander lined with cheesecloth, working in batches, drain vegetables and rinse well. Drain again and squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside in the colander to continue draining.
- In a large pot, combine drained vegetables, sugar, pickling spice, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring often, for about 30 minutes or until onions are translucent and relish is slightly thickened.
- Ladle hot relish into sterilized jars to within ½ inch of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot relish; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings, tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Turn off canner and remove lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at toom temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.