To be totally honest, my tomato crop this year was a big fat disappointment. After hours spent poring over seed catalogs and months of carefully tending seedlings and young plants, I got nada. Zilch. Not one ripe red tomato from the six tomato plants I successfully transplanted into my new garden. As someone who prides herself on her ability to grow a delicious tomato, this was not my finest hour.
This morning, however, I poked around the garden as I planned my fall crop (read: collards) and noticed my tomatoes had a few flowers that had set fruit. Finally! Just in time for the first cold snap of the season. Here’s hoping that at the very least I will come out of this summer with enough green tomatoes to make a decent batch of chow chow. I feel like my little urban farm owes me at least that much.
makes 6 half pints
1 dozen green tomatoes
1 medium head of cabbage
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
3 medium onions
12 garlic cloves
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups apple cider vinegar
Combine vegetables and 1 tbsp salt and mix well. Cover and chill overnight.
Strain vegetables and transfer to a medium sized pot. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, red pepper flakes, and salt. Simmer 15 minutes.
For a refrigerator pickle transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before serving. The relish will keep up to two weeks.
For canned chow chow sterilize 4 half pint jars by boiling the jars and lids for 10 minutes. When you’re ready to fill them remove them from the water bath, ladle relish and brine into the jar (leaving 1/4”/1/2cm head space), cap, and return to the water bath. Boil an additional 10 minutes. Remove from water bath, tighten the band, and let cool to room temperature. When the jars have cooled check to make sure each jar has sealed (check to see if the lid will pop). Store one week in a cool dark place before opening. The canned relish will keep up to a year in a cool dark place.