I had a table full of green tomatoes in the garage after pulling up the tomato plants from my raised beds at the Community Garden. I could have waited for them to ripen (some of them would have) but I needed the table for another project. While sorting through a pile of magazines, I came across a recipe for green tomato Chow Chow. I even had almost all the ingredients in the house.
I needed 3 lbs of green tomatoes, so I pulled out my kitchen scale and the amount of tomatoes I had was just a tad over. Perfect. I pulsed them in the Cuisinart, salted them and put them in a colander to drain.
While that was happening, I began running my pint canning jars through a quick cycle in the dishwasher. I pulsed a head of cabbage and 2 large onions in the Cuisinart. (I took a selfie of myself crying over the onions but vanity prevented me from putting it in this blog post.)
Then 1 hot red pepper from my garden, and two large red bell peppers – the recipe called for a green one which I didn’t use. I like the pop of color the red peppers added.
I gathered pickling spices into a piece of cheesecloth, and dumped it all into the biggest stock pot I had.
Sugar and vinegar were added and it boiled for an hour and a half. I thought it might be mush after cooking it so long, but it wasn’t.
The house smelled wonderful. Towards the end of that boiling, I got my canner on the stove and started heating water. I used my electric kettle to help the process along. I sterilized my lids and tools and was ready to go as soon as the dishwasher stopped. At the end I had seven pints of green tomato chow chow. A pint and a half went into the fridge and it’s delicious.
Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.
Green Tomato Chowchow
- 3 lbs green tomatoes
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 medium head cabbage
- 1 lb onions (about 3 medium)
- 2 large sweet red peppers
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped – I used a red pepper from my garden
- 4 cups cider vinegar
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 tsp mixed pickling spice
Chop tomatoes. Transfer to a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop cabbage, onions and red peppers. I chopped onions and cabbage separately in the Cuisinart. Place in a large pot with drained tomatoes and jalapeno. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Place pickling spices on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners to enclose spices, tie securely with string and add to pan.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered until thickened, stirring occasionally, 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Discard the spice bag.
The original recipe called for this to be cooled and refrigerated until used. I put my boiling hot mixture in prepared pint jars and processed in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. This made 8 pints with a little more. My canner holds 7 jars, so the remainder went into the fridge.
This is a delicious accompaniment to all kinds of meat. It had a little warmth from the pepper, which is all I wanted. Oh, I also put a clove of garlic in each of the jars I canned. I haven’t opened any of those yet to see what the garlic does to the flavor. I will definitely make green tomato chowchow again next year.