Guest Post: Relish the Relish… Piccalilli

The following is a guest post by Leanne, the mother of the Eater in Chief of Two Happy Cooks.

The Chief Eater of Two Happy Cooks has long enjoyed using the English language in fun ways. He used this pun, “relish the relish” when he was 7 or 8 while eating this relish on his hamburger. The silly play on words has stuck with the family ever since.

I just finished making my annual batch of Piccalilli relish. So what makes this relish special? Green tomatoes and it’s British. Its origins seem to come from India with sources describing it as an Indian Pickle. It is one of Britain’s favorite pickles.

There are many versions of relishes in the U.S. and probably in the world. Ours is based on our country’s northeast version. The recipe has been handed down through generations of Hearnes in the Boston area. What makes this relish different from other relishes, like Chow Chow (found in the South), is that it uses green tomatoes and no cucumbers, cabbage or corn. It has sweet peppers and onions, as well.

This is a great way to preserve all of your surplus vegetables at the end of summer. So, get ready to use up the last of your green tomatoes before that frost arrives in late September or October. We do not eat a hamburger, hot dog, or sausage without this relish. Nor should you!

Try it and you’ll find out that you can relish your relish all year long!

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks



12                    green tomatoes, large size

2                      green peppers

1 to 2              red peppers

6                      medium onions (or 3 large)

½ cup             uniodized salt

5 cups            water

4 cups            cider vinegar (split use)

1½ lbs            sugar

½ pkg             pickling spice

Supplies:       cheesecloth, colander, jars lids,

                        jar rings, and hot water bath pot


Cut the green tomatoes, peppers and onions into large chunks (about 1” in size).  You can coarsely grind the tomatoes, green and red peppers, and onion, but chopping them in your food processor works really well.  Add salt and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Get your water heating in the hot water bath.  Add your jars to this water to heat them for filling.  It also insures that they are clean.

Drain the salted vegetables in a colander lined with cheesecloth.  Put the drained vegetables into a large stockpot and add the water and 2 cups of the vinegar.  Bring to a boil and drain in a colander lined with cheesecloth. 

Put the vegetables back into the stockpot and add the rest of the vinegar (2 cups), sugar and pickling spices tied up in cheesecloth.  Bring to a boil and simmer covered for one hour.  If the relish has too much liquid, take the lid off towards the end of cooking.  If it is too dry, add some water back to the relish towards the end of cooking.  Remove pickling spice and fill the hot jars to within 1 inch from the top.  Secure the lid and ring on the jar.  Put jars into the hot water bath.  Return the water to a boil and process 15 minutes.  Remove the jars and place on a towel on the counter to cool.   

Once cool, check that all lids have sealed.  

Yield: 3 to 4 pints

IMG_0053 IMG_0054 IMG_0055 IMG_0060 IMG_0064 



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