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Spicy Tomato Relish

Use the leftovers of this vibrant relish on sandwiches or alongside roasted meat. A nicely wrapped jar of this relish also makes a great gift.

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  • Servings: Makes about 3 cups

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  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes—peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 12 scallions, white and tender green, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 5 serrano chiles, stemmed and quartered lengthwise (with seeds)
  • One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely julienned
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. In a nonreactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring constantly just until dissolved. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions and serranos.
  2. On a plate, arrange the ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin, peppercorns, crushed red pepper and turmeric. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until almost smoking. Add the garlic, ginger and spices all at once and stir over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar mixture. Add the dressing to the tomatoes and scallions and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days.
Contributed By Published March 1997

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