This Green Tomato Chow (also known as Tomato Relish) is a classic Canadian East Coast recipe often enjoyed in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador. It’s a perfect way to deal with stubborn tomatoes that refuse to ripen, this pickle is so sharp, it’s perfect with fatty meats, fish, cheeses, and lots of buttered bread.
Use a mandolin or the single blade of a box grater for the thinnest slice possible. The original recipe called for 6 cups of sugar, which we found too sweet for modern tastes, so we scaled that back a bit; feel free to honour your sweet tooth and the original recipe and bring it back up to six. At 7 percent acid, pickling vinegar is more acidic than regular white vinegar, which comes in at 5 percent.
Makes about 10 cups of chow
16 cups very thinly sliced green tomatoes
8 cups very thinly sliced cooking onions
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup pickling spice (bay leaves, mustard seeds, whole cloves, allspice, coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns)
3 cups pickling vinegar
4 cups white sugar
2 tbsp whole dried juniper berries
In colander set over a bowl, sprinkle sliced tomatoes and onions with salt; toss to coat. Drain at room temperature for 12 hours or overnight.
Wrap pickling spices in cheesecloth or add to pickling ball infuser.
In large pot over medium heat, add vinegar and sugar; stir until dissolved.
Reduce heat to low; add tomatoes and onions — do not rinse off the salt — juniper berries and pickling spices. Simmer, uncovered, about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Follow your preferred canning method or store in jars in the fridge. Make sure each jar gets a few juniper berries.
IMAGE BY: Signe Langford
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University; she graduated with honours from OCAD University; she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College.