Green Tomato Chow-chow
MAKES 2 CUPS Active: 30 min. Total: 7 hr. 10 min.
Florence Jackson, the author’s grandmother and a Nova Scotia native, made use of shoulder-season produce to prepare this tangy relish. It is often served with meat and fish dishes, where it adds a bright note of sweetness. While chow-chow can be used immediately, its flavor improves with time. Consider making a large batch and putting it up in properly sterilized canning jars to last through the winter months.
1¼ lb. green (unripened) tomatoes, cored and finely diced (3 cups) ⅔ lb. yellow onion, finely diced (1 cup) ¼ cup finely diced green or red bell pepper 1 Tbsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. brown mustard seed ¼ tsp. coriander seeds 3 allspice berries 3 black peppercorns 1 bay leaf 1 whole clove ½ small cinnamon stick Pinch ground cardamom Pinch powdered ginger ⅔ cup white vinegar 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar 3 Tbsp. sugar
1 In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, diced pepper, and salt. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.
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.
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.
4 Transfer the tomato mixture to a medium saucepan. 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.