Green Tomato Relish Recipe

My green tomato relish recipe is mix of favourite ingredients. My aim with this recipe was to minimise the addition of sugar and salt. Through my research I uncovered the main difference between relish and chutney. Prior to my gardening and preserving experience I had never considered this! Relish promotes the tart and sour tastes, whilst chutney through the addition of sugar is sweet. My minimalist approach to added sugar definitely places this recipe in the relish category. The recipe has no added salt. I would describe this green tomato relish flavour as ‘tangy’.

Homemade green tomato relish

Green Tomato Relish

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: one hour, or until relish thickens

Makes about 2.5 litres


  • 2kg green tomatoes chopped
  • 3 medium sized granny smith apples – 500g -, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 2 large red onions – 600g – chopped
  • 2 cups sultanas
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 0.25 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Juice of one lemon – optional for squeezing over chopped apple.

Green tomato relish spices Green tomato relish chopped apple and tomato Green tomato relish raw ingredients


  1. Add vinegar, sugar and spices to your pot, stir and bring to the boil.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Bring to the relish to the boil on medium heat then reduce heat to simmer. Check and stir the relish every 15 minutes.
  4. Taste the relish whilst it is still cooking so you can adjust the seasoning – sugar and spices.
  5. About half way through your cooking time, wash your jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse and dry off in an oven pre-set to 100oC. Keep them in the oven until your green tomato relish is cooked. If you are heat preserving your relish, then prepare your boiling water or preserver as outlined below.
  6. Once your relish is cooked ladle it into the sterilised jars, leaving a distance of 1cm from the rim. Seal the jars with the sterilised lids.
  7. If you are heat preserving your relish, transfer your jars to the water bath or automatic preserver.
  8. For refrigeration storage, allow the jars to cool prior to placing them into the refrigerator.

Storage options

1. Refrigerator

The green tomato relish will keep in the refrigerator for a few months, but if you have minimal space in your refrigerator, or you wish to keep the relish for longer than a few months then I would suggest heating the sealed jars for preservation.

2. Cupboard

Longer term storage, around 12 months, in a dark cool cupboard or pantry requires heating the sealed jars.

Method for water bath

  1. Place a folded cloth such as a tea towel or a steaming rack in the bottom of your pot. Add water to your pot. The level needs to eventually cover the lids of the jars, however the amount of water you need to add is affected by the number of jars you add – when you add your jars of pears the water level will rise. The level of water that I usually start with comes half way up the side of the jar. Remember you can add boiled water later if required.
  2. Heat water bath until near boiling.
  3. Carefully place the jars into the water bath and increase the heat to return the water to a gentle boil.
  4. Gently boil the green tomato relish for 15 minutes.
  5. Allow the relish to cool for 24 hours before storing in a dry, dark, cool place. Check that all of the lids form an airtight seal. This is noticeable, as the raised centre of the lid will be sucked downwards as the contents cool, creating a vacuum seal. The lids make a very distinct popping noise as they seal.

Method for automatic preserver

Prepare jars and relish as outlined above. Place your packed jars of green tomato relish into the automatic preserver and cover the well-sealed jars with water. Follow the instructions provided with your preserver.


Enjoying your green tomato relish

Relish is another way to preserve the freshness and warmth of summer. Relish is a versatile accompaniment — to an egg omelette; a vegetable curry; BBQ, grilled or roast meat or it may be enjoyed in a sandwich.

2 thoughts on “Green Tomato Relish Recipe

    1. Thanks for your question about salt. I just realised that there is a typo in my recipe. I don’t usually add salt. I will amend the recipe now!

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