How to Make Green Tomato Relish at Home


Fried green tomatoes have become famous since the movie of the same name came out, but they've always been a favorite with southern cooks. Green tomatoes will eventually ripen if wrapped in newspaper and stored in a cool, dry place. But if your garden has an overabundance of green tomatoes, make green tomato relish. The tart flavor compliments meat dishes, and it can be used as a condiment or to perk up a sandwich.

Step 1

Wash the lemon. Remove the rind and chop finely. Remove the white pith that's underneath the rind and discard. Cut the lemon in half and remove the seeds. Finely chop.

Step 2

Wash the tomatoes. Remove the core. Chop in 1/2-inch pieces. If you want to remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half horizontally and squeeze gently. The seeds should pop out.

Step 3

Sear the red peppers over a flame or under the broiler until the skin turns dark brown. Put in a plastic baggie until the peppers cool. Then remove the charred skin under running water. Remove the seeds. Chop in 1/2-inch pieces.

Step 4

Remove the skin from the onion and chop in 1/2-inch pieces.

Step 5

Combine the brown sugar, salt, vinegar and pickling spices in a pan with the chopped vegetables and lemon. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and let the mixture simmer until it thickens to the consistency of jelly. Stir occasionally. Most of the moisture will have evaporated.

Step 6

Store in clean sterilized containers in the refrigerator. Sterilize the containers by boiling in water for 10 minutes and then allowing the water to cool.

Tips and Warnings

  • Turn handles of pots to the back of the stove to avoid accidents.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lemon
  • 5 cups green tomatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 red sweet peppers
  • 2 tbsp. whole mixed pickling spice
  • Knife
  • Plastic baggie
  • 4-qt or larger pan
  • Spoon
  • Measuring utensils
  • Cutting board
  • Storage containers


  • "Joy of Cooking"; Irma S Rombaur; 1964

Who Can Help

  • Cooks Recipes: Chutney and Relish recipes
Keywords: green tomatoes relish, tomato relish recipe, use green tomatoes

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.