Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tasty Green Tomato Relish!

A freeze on November 15th is not unwelcome, unless you have a garden full of tomatoes! I heard the freeze forecasted, but could not make it home before dark, so I harvested by headlights. I ended up with 15 lbs. of green tomatoes, various peppers, tarragon, basil, and a small watermelon.


Unable to can the tomatoes until Thanksgiving break, I was surprised by how many turned red!

I was left with 13 lbs. of still-green tomatoes. Once they were washed, I started chopping up small batches in the food processor.

Each batch was added to a large bowl.

Next I chopped red and green bell peppers along with a few small jalapeños and Anaheim peppers from my garden and added them to the mix.

With streaming tears I managed to chop several onions to add to my bowl of green goodness!

The mixture was then packed into a colander to drain off the extra liquid.

Once the mixture was drained, spices were added and the mixture was put in a stock pot, brought to a boil and simmered for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, I had a deep pan filled with water with a folded dishtowel in the bottom. I used it to sterilize the jars and later used the same water in the water bath.

After the relish has simmered for 5 minutes, I removed it and spooned it into jars leaving a little space from the top, put the lids on and screwed the rings down until they were just snug.

Each batch was processed for 30 minutes.

Finally the jars were placed on a towel to cool. If a lid doesn't pop down, you can carefully remove the lid, wipe the lid and jar rim to make sure nothing is in the way of a good seal and reprocess, or just let the jar cool then store it in the refrigerator to enjoy right away!

All in all, the untimely freeze led to a yummy treat of green tomato relish serendipity!

Green Tomato Relish Recipe

24 large green tomatoes
3 red bell peppers, seeded
3 green bell peppers, seeded
12 large onions
3 tablespoons celery seed
3 tablespoons mustard sees
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups white sugar (the original recipe called for 5 cups)
2 cups cider vinegar

  1. In a food processor, coarsely grind tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. You will need to do this in small batches. Drain the mixture in a colander for 1 hour.
  2. In a non-aluminum stockpot, combine mixture, seasonings and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Sterilize jars. Pack mixture leaving a small amount of air space at the top of the jar. Seal with lid and ring.
  4. Place filled jars on rack or towel in pot of hot water. Bring to boil and process for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and place on a towel to cool. Lids should pop down if sealed properly.


  1. The relish was (and still is) really great! Thanks, Jeannine :)

    1. I'm glad I found such a good recipe online!! It's a keeper!

  2. Hi Jeannine,
    I am also a gardener. I just found your blog through homestead wannabe, and became your newest follower.
    Your tomato relish looks really yummy: )

    1. I am following your blog too! I enjoy personal narrative as well as gardening, crafts, teaching and homemaking. I will enjoy reading what you would like to share. I see you have goats. We do also! They are interesting and fun!

  3. I've heard of this before, but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment so I could visit your great blog! I hope you enjoy the tooth soap recipe. It has done wonders for our family's teeth :) God Bless and Happy New Year!