Thursday, October 3, 2013

Green Tomato Relish

What can I say... This recipe is simply delicious and VERY unexpected also! Because the fall is upon us and because the temperature was starting to dip low at night, we figured that it was time to pick the remainder (a large remainder) of our tomatoes before they got damaged by the frost (never mind this AWESOME stretch of weather we're currently on!). Aside from a few really nice ripe fruits, we had lots of green tomatoes... lots!

What to do with all of them? The only thing we've ever really done with green tomatoes back in my native country was to pickle them (they are delicious, might I add!). But I felt like I wanted to do something interesting instead.

Once again, I scoured the Internet for an idea... I found 3 or 4 interesting things, but finally stopped at a recipe for a Green Tomato Relish. Although I WAS hesitant at first (I'm not a big fan of relish), but I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed that I did! It's sweet, yet soft and mild, there is something about it that makes me want to put it on everything!

Green Tomato Relish


Ingredients:

* about 2-2.5 kilos of green tomatoes (I used 2.3 kg, which is about 5 lbs; the original recipe called for 20 medium tomatoes... I just don't know how you quantify that...)
* 3 large green bell peppers
* 1 large red bell pepper
* 1 extra large yellow onion (it can, of course, be substituted with multiples of smaller yellow onions, which is what I did)
* 1 tbsp+2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
* 1 tbsp+2 tsp of table salt (the original recipe calls for kosher salt... I don't what the difference is)
* 1 tbsp of celery seeds
* 2 cups of cider vinegar
* 2 cups of granulated sugar

Directions:

1. Wash all of the tomatoes and peppers. Start by chopping/grating all of the tomatoes... If you have a kitchen appliance that'll do that for you, you WILL save some major time. Chopping of 2.3 kg of tomatoes took something like 1 hour (!) AND my fingers started to prune... There is one handy kitchen tool I have that is proving to be VERY useful - it's a strawberry hollowing tool, that I used to hollow the tomatoes - super quick and easy!

2. Next, seed and dice peppers; chop up all of the onions. Mix the three vegetables in a large pot (I used a stock pot as my biggest "regular" pot wasn't big enough).

3. Add mustard seeds, salt and celery seeds. Mix well.

4. Add sugar and mix well (well enough).

5. Add all of the vinegar and all of the relish ingredients mix well. Now it's ready to be cooked!

6. Simmer the pot over medium heat. Cook stirring OFTEN (the original recipe calls for skimming, but I didn't find that it was necessary at all).

7. The relish will have to be cooked for about 2 hours (stirring often!). You'll notice it starting to thicken and cook down a bit also (of course, it'll change colour as well). I have to be honest, I was a bit concerned with a smell of vinegar... I thought I ruined all of these veggies!... I was WRONG, relish turned out to be delicious!







8. While cooking, get your jars & lids sterilized and ready (I do this beforehand). Most traditional recipes note that hot preserves should be poured into hot jars, but... c'mon, I don't have space for that! My jars & lids were all sterilized, but NOT hot at all; it didn't matter.

9. Once 2 hours or so has passed, your relish is ready for canning. I have a few simple tools to help me through this process (such as a $4 preserve funnel). Pour hot mixture into jars; make sure to leave some space at the rim (can you see it in the photo?).

10. Wipe clean every jar rim with a paper towel to ensure that any residue and liquid is removed. This will ensure each lid seals for safe storing.

11. Place the lids over jars and tighten the rigs (do NOT over-tighten!). You CAN stop here - my lids started to "pop" (in other words, seal) at this point.

THIS RECIPE MADE 13 JARS (3x125 ml, 4x236ml, 6x250ml)

I decided to follow all of the instructions and follow through with a "hot bath", which apparently ensures a proper seal. I did 10 minutes for bigger jars and 5 minutes for smaller jars.

12. Remove the jars VERY CAREFULLY from the boiling water and let them cool on the counter undisturbed overnight.

Enjoy!


Cheers,

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