Friday, September 7, 2012

Green tomato dill pickle relish

"Waste not. Want Not" What do you do with the oodles of itty bitty green tomatoes that will never ripen?

last jar of relish, we"ll be needing more

It's almost time for me to harvest the tomatoes. The ripening ones, I'll bring into the kitchen, and keep in a basket on the counter, to use as they redden. The full-size green ones I'll put in a large cardboard box, each separated from one another with newspaper. (I scrunch the newspaper accordian-style to make troughs in the paper for the tomatoes to rest.) The small green ones, that have a dull coat to the skin, will likely never ripen. Many are as small as marbles. But in the vein of "waste not, want not" I'll use even those as a food source.

I wash and stem all those itty bitty tomatoes, then run through the food processor to chop and use to make into relish or for a green tomato bar cookie filling. I make both a sweet and a dill version of relish. I can tell the two apart by the small flakes of red pepper in the dill relish. Here's the recipe for the dill one.

Green Tomato Dill Relish

4 cups (about 600 g) chopped green tomatoes
1  1/2 cups (about 225 g) chopped onion

I chop both the onions and tomatoes in the food processor, using the pulse feature. Drain vegetables in a colander. After drained, put in a stainless saucepan.

1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
2 cups (475 mL) vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) celery seeds
1  1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red chili pepper, minced
fresh dill weed, about 1/4 cup, roughly a handful, fresh and chopped, *or* 1 (15 mL) tablespoon dried

Add all ingredients above to the vegetables. Simmer until soft, stirring, occasionally, to prevent scorching. 

Sterilize jars and lids. Scoop cooked relish into jars, seal and process in a water bath for 15 minutes. (Even though I hot-water bath my pickles and relishes, I still opt to store them in the fridge.)

I make about 3 pints of dill and 3 pints of sweet every year with the tiny green tomatoes. That seems to be enough to get us till the next harvest.

Is there anything that you particularly heed the advice of "waste not, want not"?

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