This is my Dad’s Green Tomato Chow-Chow recipe. I think it originates from Nova Scotia, Canada as it is also known as “Nana’s Chow-Chow. It is made only with green tomatoes and onions, vinegar and spices. All my life, I’ve eaten precious rationed portions of this delicious mixture and called it Dad’s Green Tomato Chow-Chow.
I’m here to tell you this is really good stuff.
There are many recipes for chow-chow out there, Southern recipes call for everything left in the garden that is harvested just before the first frost: cabbage, peppers, onions, cucumbers. This one is different. And, it gets better as it ages.
Wash the tomatoes, and there is no peeling or seeding required!
Green Tomato Chow-Chow
8 cups chopped green tomatoes
4-6 medium sweet onions, sliced
1/2 cup kosher salt
(use non-iodized salt)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon turmeric
(If using fresh turmeric, shred about 1 inch of a knob)
2 Tablespoons Pickling Spice in a bag (I used a tea ball)
Wash and slice the tomatoes and onions.
in a large bowl, sprinkle the salt over the tomatoes and onions; set a plate on top, cover and let this sit overnight. In the morning, rinse the tomatoes and onions to remove the salt. Strain, place into a large pot with the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and pickling spice.
Bring to a boil, reduce to an active simmer and then let this simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
The entire mixture will cook down to a lovely sweet, tangy concoction with a jam like consistency. This is so good on grilled meats, as a glaze for ham or chicken or as a condiment with cheese.
One of our favorite ways to have it is with beans and cornbread. It makes the meal.
My Dad says this is a real treat because it is only made with the green tomatoes picked just before the first freeze. He says he can’t pick a tomato when it can turn red on the vine. He loves his tomatoes! I know he spoiled me from store-bought tomatoes. Every year, I always grow a plant or two. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. It’s a tradition to grow tomatoes every year.
I’ve encouraged mom to make him a Green Tomato Pie because he has been fascinated with making pies that taste like apple but not using apples. In the past he’s used zucchini and Ritz crackers (separate pies), so I hope he can add green tomato soon.
When I asked mom to make him a pie, he quickly said there weren’t enough greens left and frankly he’d rather have chow-chow.
I’ll have to wrap and send him a bottle to see how he likes it.
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