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 a 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 a 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, for 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 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.