I have a confession. I suck at growing tomatoes.
No matter what I did this year, my seedlings failed to grow (minus one rogue tomato plant in the green house that spawned from me throwing a seedling tray on the ground in frustration!). It was too cold, too late in the season…and when it finally got warm, there was never going to be enough warm days for this pretty farmer’s tomatoes to actually turn red.
Sigh. It’s time to get resourceful … time to embrace the green tomato band wagon.
Enter Green Tomato Relish … and an entire day of cutting, mashing, cooking and preserving. It rocked. And so does this recipe.
Harvested: green tomatoes
Green Tomato Relish
recipe adapted from Cornersmith
Recipe (makes 6-8 half pint jars):
2 kg green tomatoes (4.5 pounds)
1 tbsp salt
1 kg white onions (2.25 pounds)
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
3/4 cup castor sugar (plain white works just fine)
100 g fresh ginger
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds
*you will also need a large stove pot and canning equipment if you are preserving – if not, don’t worry, it will last for up to a month in the fridge unpreserved … and trust me – you and your friends will eat it all in less than that!
Let’s get started! Cut tomatoes in 1 cm (little under 1/2 inch) cubes. Place these in a bowl and cover with salt to sit while you prep your other ingredients. This helps to draw out any unneeded moisture. Next up, let’s prep the rest of the ingredients … thinly slice onions and set aside, peel ginger and grate finely, weigh out sugar, spices and vinegar.
Pour oil into the pot on a medium heat and add in the spices, stirring until fragrant (about a minute or two). Add in the onion and sautee until they are translucent and have collapsed – we want the onions to be very soft and sweet.
Now we are ready to roll. Drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes (don’t rinse the tomatoes, we want that salt in the finished product!), and add tomatoes to the onion mixture. Stir to combine and lower the heat to cook the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the remainder of the ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Slowly bring to a boil and let the relish simmer until it is glossy and thick – there should be no puddles of liquid on the top of the relish when it is finished.
While the relish is cooking, sanitise your jars with hot soapy water. I also boil them, then place in the oven to keep warm for fill time. This is to keep them highly sanitised, but also, when pouring hot anything into glass jars, you want to make sure the jars are not cold or you will have quite the shattered glass mess on your hands!
When relish is to the desired consistency, turn off the heat and let it cool for five minutes before placing into jars. While waiting, go ahead and remove the jars from the oven with sterilised tongs, they can cool for a few minutes too so as not to be over hot (p.s. if you aren’t preserving this batch, you don’t need to worry with all the sterilising!).
Carefully ladle relish into jars, wipe the rim with a clean paper towel and seal. If you are preserving, you will want to seal jars immediately with unused lids and place in a water bath for 10 minutes. Check the lids afterward for a correct seal.
This stuff will change your life. Seriously. It is addictive and WAY good. I eat mine with crusty sourdough bread or with crackers and cheese (this pairing with goat cheese is out of this world). Enjoy, and eat lots! xo Mrs. Farm & Pretty
note: non-preserved relish will last up to a month in the refrigerator, preserved jars with the correct seal will last up to 12 months and should be stored in a cool, dark place.