Green Tomato Chow Chow

The pickled pantry essential you didn’t know you were missing.

  • Serves

    makes 2 Cups

  • Cook

    7 hours 10 minutes


By Florence Jackson

Updated on August 20, 2021

This tangy relish from Nova Scotia native Florence Jackson makes use of shoulder-season produce. Serve it alongside meat and fish dishes to add a bright note of sweetness. While chow chow can be used immediately, consider making it ahead or canning a few jars as its flavor improves with time. If you still have tomatoes left from the harvest, be sure to check out all of our tomato recipes.

What You Will Need


  • 1 14 lb. green (unripened) tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (3 cups)
  • 13 lb. yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 14 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. brown mustard seed
  • 14 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole clove
  • 12 small cinnamon stick
  • Pinch ground cardamom
  • Pinch powdered ginger
  • 23 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. sugar


Step 1

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.

Step 2

Set a fine mesh strainer over the sink and drain the tomato mixture, gently pressing to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.

Step 3

In a small bowl, combine the mustard seeds, coriander, allspice berries, black peppercorns, bay leaf, clove, cinnamon stick, cardamom, and ginger. Transfer the mixture to a sachet made from a double layer of cheesecloth, and tie to seal.

Step 4

Transfer the tomato mixture to a medium pot. Add the vinegar, sugars, and the spice sachet, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chow-chow has reduced to a fragrant, dry relish, 40–50 minutes. Chill, then serve immediately, or refrigerate in a covered jar for up to one month.

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