Oh, Joy! Recipe for Green Tomato Relish




Since several people have asked, here is the recipe for Green Tomato Relish from the Joy of Cooking, which I received as a bridal shower gift from Mrs. Link, or maybe Mrs. Magill, one of the two, each of whom had 6 to 8 kids..I’m not too far off on the count.

Irma Rombauer wrote in the first edition introduction too the Joy of Cooking, “Stand facing the stove.” My advice for this recipe is to grow the tomatoes and green peppers, the garlic and onions if you can. And reserve about 3 days for making the relish! Worth the effort if you can find the time. It also seemed to me that the proportions for the ingredients were about equal parts of the tomatoes, onions and peppers. Who knows how big a large onion is supposed to be these days with so many varieties available or how big the green peppers were in the home garden in the 1950s without so much fertilizer?!

My comments are in italics.

Green Tomato Pickle or Relish
About 6 Quarts

*Please read About Pickling Equipment and ingredients, page 781.
Grow tomatoes, reserve 2 or 3 days for buying ingredients, cutting, cooking and canning. Have large cookware available. A food processor makes the chopping much faster!

Wash and cut into thin slices:

  • 1 peck green tomatoes (equals 8 quarts or 2 gallons)

Peel, cut into thin slices and add:

  • 12 large onions (about 2 gallons)

Sprinkle with:

  • 1 cup coarse salt

Let mixture stand for 12 hours. Wash in clear water and drain. Heat to the boiling point:

  • 3 quarts cider vinegar

Seed, remove membranes and add:

  • 12 green peppers, sliced thin

  • 6 sweet diced red peppers

  • (about 2 gallons total)


  • 12 minced cloves garlic

  • 4 lbs. brown sugar

Add the tomatoes and onions. Tie in a (cheese) cloth bag and add:

  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard

  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves

  • 2 sticks cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons powdered ginger

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon celery seed

*Simmer until tomatoes are transparent, about 1 hour. Stir frequently. Place pickles in sterile jars and seal. (This means you should water process the jars as for canning.) A fan writes that he puts the finished product in his blender for a second or two to make his favorite relish.


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