Tag Archives: relish

Preserving Those Unripe Tomatoes

Some of us have planned purposes for green, unripe tomatoes early in the season – like my mother’s delish green tomato relish recipe! – while others are grabbing end of season unripe tomatoes off the vines before the frost hits. Now you have a lot of these green tomatoes, what to do with them? greentom_blog

Unripe tomatoes may be canned like ripe tomatoes, following the same directions including acidification. Even though unripe tomatoes should have a lower pH (higher acid content) than their ripe counterparts, we do not know if even in the unripe stage your variety and growing situation may mean they are still above pH 4.6. So follow the USDA directions for canning tomato and tomato products, including the acidification. See the acidification advice even for green tomatoes here: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_intro.html and the available canning procedures for tomatoes here: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can3_tomato.html

How about that prized relish in our family?  That and other relishes calling for green tomatoes include

And, even though it doesn’t call for green, unripe tomatoes, I might throw in the more unusual, very tasty Oscar Relish to help use up those red tomatoes being grabbed off vines before the frost, also: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/oscar_relish.html .

Green-Tomato-Pie-049-photoshoppedAnother option for something a bit different (and not a relish), is the Green Tomato Pie Filling: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/can_pie/green_tomato_filling.html This will give you a great headstart for something to have handy during winter holidays (or really anytime).

Image courtesy of Randal Oulton

Some look forward to the summer treat of fried green tomato slices; you can freeze your raw slices and have them for frying later in the year, also:

Freezing green tomato slices: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/tomato_green.html

For more information on canning and freezing methods, including packaging choices and headspace for freezer containers, see general sections on these topics available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia, https://nchfp.uga.edu.


Delightful Fresh Dill Cucumber Relish Recipe

If you haven’t planted cucumbers or dill yet, then this recipe might bring you inspiration to get out and add these delicious plants to your garden. Fresh Dill Cucumber Relish is our own take on a sweet, not salty, relish that is great for your homegrown fresh dill. For a sweet, light, refreshing treat, chill this relish in the refrigerator and try it on tortilla chips!

If this is your first time canning, or if you could use a review of the basics, please read Using Boiling Water Canners and Principles of Home Canning before beginning.

Fresh Dill Cucumber Relish

Makes about 6 to 7 pint jars


–          12 cups chopped pickling cucumbers (about 4 ½ pounds)

–          3 cups chopped red bell pepper

–          1 cup chopped onion

–          ¼ cup pickling or canning salt

–          4 cups crushed or cubed ice

–          8 cups water

–          5 cups cider vinegar (5%)

–          1 cup sugar

–          1 cup water

–          2 tablespoons mustard seed

–          1 cup chopped fresh dill

–          1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids and bands according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Prepare cucumbers and peppers by first washing them well. After washing the cucumbers, slice a thin piece from both the stem and blossom ends and discard. Cut into about 1-inch pieces and then chop in a food processor (using about 3 pulses on “chop”) to yield about ¼-inch or slightly larger pieces. Measure 12 cups of the chopped cucumber.
  3. After washing the peppers, remove the stem, seeds and white membranes. Cut into about 1-inch pieces or slices and then chop in a food processor (using about 3 pulses on “chop”) to yield about ¼-inch or slightly larger pieces. Measure 3 cups of the chopped pepper.
  4. Remove the skin from onions. Wash well and chop into about ¼-inch cubes, or process to size in a food processor as for peppers. Measure 1 cup of the chopped onion.
  5. Combine measured chopped cucumber, pepper and onion with salt, ice and the 8 cups water in a large bowl or saucepot. Cover; let stand 3 to 4 hours in refrigerator. Drain; rinse thoroughly with ice cold water and drain well again through a cheesecloth-lined strainer (until no more water drips through, about 15 to 20 minutes).
  6. Heat vinegar, sugar, 1 cup water, and remaining ingredients in a stockpot while stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add drained, chopped vegetables, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  7. Fill hot relish into clean, hot pint jars leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Make sure liquid covers the top of the food pieces. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply prepared canning lids.
  8. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in the table below. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Fresh Dill   Cucumber Relish in a boiling-water canner.

Process Time at Altitudes   of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0 – 1,000 ft

1,001 – 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft



15 min



Note: This recipe was developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. It is also available at http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/fresh_dill_relish.html.