Green Tomato Chow

  • Serves

    makes ABOUT 3 CUPS


On Canada's Prince Edward Island, firm, underripe green tomatoes are transformed into a tangy-sweet condiment that is often served alongside salt cod cakes. This recipe first appeared in our October 2013 issue with the article Where the Farm Meets the Sea.


  • 2 lb. small green tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 14 cup fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 2"-piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cheesecloth, for spices
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar


Step 1

Toss tomatoes, onion, and salt in a 9" x 13" baking dish and press into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight

Step 2

Next day, pour tomato mixture into a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Spread tomatoes and onions in a single layer onto a double thickness of paper towels; blot dry with more paper towels.

Step 3

Heat peppercorns, cardamom, coriander, allspice, mustard, cloves, bay leaves, chiles, and cinnamon in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds begin to pop, 3–5 minutes. Transfer spices along with ginger to a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight package.

Step 4

Add vinegar and sugar to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Add spice package and reserved tomato mixture; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is very thick, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Let chow cool to room temperature before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

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