Green Tomato Relish

Over the weekend I pulled out my tomato plants.  The big ones; the cherry tomatoes are still producing and are in a bed that will lie fallow for the winter, so I’ll let those go a while longer.

The tomato plants I pulled yielded a quarter-basket of golf-ball sized green tomatoes; too small to batter and fry (I do like fried green tomatoes!) but too many to just toss in the compost.  I decided to make some green tomato relish.  I also have an abundance of sweet peppers right now; I could put those in there as well.  And of course some onion… and maybe some jalapeno to give it some zing.

green tomato relish

To save time, I ran the whole lot of them through a food processor with a grater blade installed.  I get better results – more consistent pieces – if I cut it all by hand, but that is very time consuming and I have other things that must get accomplished today.  I still had to pick out some large chunks and dice them by hand, but not too many.

For the tomatoes, I washed them and removed the stems and any bad spots, but otherwise shredded them whole and as is; green tomatoes are much more solid than ripe tomatoes.  The sweet peppers were cleaned and seeded.  I ended up with 2/3 of the mix being tomatoes 1/3 being a mix of sweet peppers (green, purple, red, yellow) onions (mostly red onions as they don’t keep as well as the yellow ones so I like to use them first) and a few jalapeño peppers: caps removed, the rest (including seeds) run through the shredder.

The shredded vegetable mix went into a colander in the sink to drain for an hour while I set up the canner and sterilized jars.  When drained, I used a pint jar as a rough measure of how much vegetable mix I had as I transferred it to a stock pot; I had four pints of raw vegetable mix.  This will cook down some, so the 5 jars I prepared will be more than enough.  I used the four pints as a scale for reducing the 12 pint recipe: divide everything by 3.

To the mix in the stock pot I added 1 TB Mustard seed, 1 TB Celery seed, ¾ cup Truvia, and ¾ cup vinegar.  The recipe I use calls for salt as well, but we don’t use salt in most things, so I skipped that.  I heated the mix and allowed it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, to be sure it was heated through before packing it into the hot pint jars, leaving ½” headspace.  Tap the jars solidly on the counter to settle the contents and look for air bubbles; use a skewer to remove the air, tap again and adjust the head space.  I ended up with three full pints and a half-pint left over that I put in a jelly jar and placed in the fridge for immediate use.

I water-bathed the other three jars for 30 minutes. We live at a higher altitude than most; if you don’t, you could probably get away with 20 minutes.

Green tomato relish is an end-of season product for us, using up what we have left over; so it is a bit different each time I make it.  It is very tasty and we enjoy it anywhere we would use sweet pickle relish.

In this batch, I may have overdone the jalapenos a bit: probably should have slit them open and removed the seeds – this batch has quite a zing to it!  But that’s OK, we like it hot.
Marie added some of the left-over relish to a pan of left-over home-made beef stew she was heating for dinner that evening: it spiced that up just fine.

I cleaned off the jars and made labels this morning … and for some odd reason I labeled them all as November 2013 although I made them on Sept 31st.  Where did October go? Must be that canner time warp I’ve read about…

What do you do with green tomatoes from the end of your season?

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