At the end of the season, there always seem to be green tomatoes left clinging to the vine. Over the weekend I went to my mom’s house on the shore to help ’batten down the hatches’ before the hurricane. During summer, she had the most bountiful tomato plants with the sweetest tomatoes. But with a massive storm surge on the way, it was time to salvage what we could, and say goodbye to the plants. So I came home with a pile of green tomatoes.
I spent Sunday night cooking up a storm, in preparation for the hurricane. As it turned out, we were extremely lucky and never lost power, but I had baked bread, tossed pasta salad, and made meatloaf. And I began the great green-tomato-relish-experiment. Not only had I never made green tomato relish, I had never even tasted green tomato relish.
It turns out that green tomato relish is really easy to make, and also really tasty. However, after an evening of experimentation I determined that the type of vinegar is really key here. Although many recipes call for cider vinegar, I really liked my batch with white balsamic best. Of course, white balsamic is quite sweet, so you don’t need as much sugar as you might see in other green tomato relish recipes.
This relish is tangy and sweet and wonderful on meatloaf. It also happens to be great on grilled cheese. And I spooned a bit over my scrambled eggs this morning, which was lovely. Of course, it would be great on a hamburger or hot dog too!
I hope you all made it through the storm safe and sound!
Easy Green Tomato Relish
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of water
3 tablespoons sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a saucepan, saute the onion, pepper and garlic in oil over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the vinegar, the water and the sugar. Simmer gently over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated – about 20 minutes (plus or minus depending on your tomatoes). Add the salt and pepper to taste. Cool the relish and serve or store in the fridge for up to a week.