ChowChow or One Thing to do with All Those Green Tomatoes


One thing to do with All those Green Tomatoes

This year my garden thrived in one thing only: Tomatoes.

Now, I’m not complaining, the stewed/roasted/pureed/chopped canned tomatoes will come in handy all through the winter. But when it came time to pull out the garden before it goes to the grey/brown mush of winter, I had tons of green tomatoes still on the vine. And I couldn’t just disk under all those unripened tomatoes when they had a chance to be something delicious.

So I did want any modern girl does and searched Pinterest for that recipe I made that one time a while back. A search lead me to a nice ChowChow recipe, that I then modified to my tastes and what I had on hand.

ChowChow is really just a relish of pickled vegetables. I always think of ChowChow as a southern food, but after a bit of research, I learned that the Southern verity normally has cabbage in it, and that from Pennsylvania is sweeter and closer to the recipe below. There is a similar relish in Indian cuisine called Piccalilli that I am going to have to try next time.

Chow Chow

Yield: 12 1/2 pint jars

Chow Chow


  • 7 cups Green Tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 small Onions, chopped
  • 2 Bell Peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 8 Tbs Pickling Spices
  • 4 Tbs Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 cups Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Chop all of your veggies then add them and all of the other ingredients into a large stock pot.
  2. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Over a medium flame let the mixture bubble and cook down. Reducing the volume by about 1/4th and waiting until all the tomatoes are just softening up. About 30 minutes.
  4. Then turn off the burner and can your Chow Chow!

I ended up making 2 batches because of all of the green tomatoes! And while the recipe says it fills a dozen 1/2 pint jars, you can tell, I just used whatever jars I had on hand.

I used a mix of pickling spices that I bought at the local coop. It contained salt, peppercorns, mustard seed, allspice, coriander seeds, cloves, ground ginger, bay leaves, and cinnamon bark.

ChowChow makes a great gift because it is so old school most people have never tasted it, making yours their instant favorite.

Just like any relish or pepper jelly, you can do nearly anything with it. Have it over chicken, as a spread on a charcuterie plate, pour it over some cream cheese for a dip, or just swap out your normal relish and put this on you hot dog for pinkies up, chowing down at your next BBQ.


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