Chowchow, a slightly tangy Southern vegetable relish, is terrific with everything from hot dogs to cornbread and is a perfect way to preserve summer produce like bell peppers and green tomatoes.

Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
6 quarts


  • 4 pounds green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 4 pounds red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 3 pounds green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 4 pounds sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • One 3 1/4-pound head of green cabbage, cored and finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 6 cups sugar

  • 4 cups cider vinegar

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric


  1. In a very large bowl, toss the bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cabbage with the salt; cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Drain the vegetables, discarding the liquid. In a large, heavy pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and water to a boil. Add the mustard seeds, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, ginger and turmeric and stir well. Add the drained vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the relish is thick and saucy, about 1 hour. Pack the chowchow into 6 hot 1-quart canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top, and close with the lids and rings.

  3. To process, simmer the jars at 180° for 30 minutes and monitor the water temperature with a thermometer. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before serving, to allow the flavors to meld; store unopened for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

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