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How to Make Green Tomato Relish (Hot Dog Relish)

I have been looking for a good homemade relish recipe, and I didn't know there are so many different types of relish! They are made with green tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, even cabbage. I decided to try the green tomato version. It actually does not taste like green tomatoes at all, green tomatoes have a very different flavor than red tomatoes. They really blend in with the flavor of the green peppers.

You might be asking why you should make your own relish. It's not all that expensive at the store. The store-bought kind has all the same ingredients as homemade relish with the following ingredients ADDED - corn syrup, artifical colors and artificial flavors. Yuck! I'm sad that I had forgotten what homemade food tastes like.

green tomato relish

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 12 green tomatoes
  • 4 onions
  • 4 green bell peppers*
  • 4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (opt)

* Note: For more color you can substitute a red bell pepper for one of the green ones.

First chop up all the tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. You can chop them by hand or use a food processor, depending on how small you want the vegetables in your relish to be.

hot dog relish

Place all the ingredients in a large non-stick or stainless steel pot. Stir in the sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, and vinegar. Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil. Some recipes call for just bringing it to a boil and then processing it in jars or you can also let it cook for an hour or two until some of the liquid has boiled out of the relish and then can it. It is your choice. You can also add 1 Tbsp cornstarch to thicken the relish (but it is not necessary). Remove about 1/4 cup hot liquid from the pan, stir in the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved, and stir it back into the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the turmeric (your relish will magically turn yellow!). Pour the relish into prepared sterilized jars, clear to the top of the jar. If you use a slotted spoon your relish will be less watery.

The recipe I followed said you could just put the lids on the jars and they would seal themselves, but most recipes call for processing the jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, so I decided to do this just to be safe.

As I stated earlier, there are many types of relishes you can make. I will probably be trying several to see which my family likes best. This recipe is a great way to use up green tomatoes at the end of the season. I admit, I stole some perfectly good tomatoes that were about to turn red off my tomato vines just to try this recipe, but it was worth it.

This recipe makes approximately 4 pints or 8 1/2-pints.

Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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