My Grandmother’s Green Tomato Mustard Relish

One of my strongest childhood memories was watching my grandmother​s​ in the kitchen preparing meals for our large family ​gatherings ​on Sunday afternoons.  Both my grandmother and my great-grandmother were influential figures in my lif​e and instilled a quiet passion ​in me for bringing your heart and soul to the table.  They would create memorable and delicious dishes ​that would cause us to want to sit at the dinner table for hours, not just minutes, and share together.  ​They were wonderful and patient teachers and, like a sponge, I would absorb their body language, their knife skills, and their innate sense of creating something out of nothing as I worked alongside them.  They were frugal, but they would never let us know it, as we sat down to a meal fit for kings.

When my great grandmother died, I inherited a few of her cookbooks.  They have her notes in them from World War I, when she was a cook for the soldiers.  They hold a place of honor on my bookshelf.  It helps me to remember what an important role food has to play both in life and in death.  I thumb through the fragile pages from time to time, half expecting to hear grandma’s voice whisper a secret direction to me.

This is among one of my grandmother​’s signature recipes–a relish made with green tomatoes.  We put our gardens to bed this past weekend and pulled up our tomatoes–​now it’s​ time to take a stroll down memory lane.​

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My Grandmother's Green Tomato Mustard Relish



  1. Grind and drain for 1 hr. the first 4 ingredients (green tomatoes, green and red peppers and onions).
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together and add the vegetables.
  3. Cook until it boils and thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Pack in sterilized hot jars.
  5. Store in a cool, dry place.

10 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Green Tomato Mustard Relish

  1. Hi, i made this last year and it was amazingly yummy.
    I am going to make again this year (hopefully), if the blight doesn’t get all the tomatoes. Could it be made with zucchini or cucumbers?

    • Hi Tara – after a quick conference with one of the gourmet nuns who is currently in Italy (!), she says: “I’ve never made this recipe with cucumbers or zucchini – there is more water content in these vegetables than tomatoes and you won’t have the same acidity that you would with the tomatoes but it might be worth a try!!” Thanks again for your comments, and good luck!

      • I have a zucchini relish recipe that has a mustard sauce. I like it as it also doesn’t need canning. But yours with tomato is so much nicer. I can send you the recipe if you wish.


      • Hi again,

        Since I have an overwhelming glut of
        zucchini I tried this with shredded zuch.
        I used part pickling vinegar for increased acidity. Took more cooking to thicken up, a lot more time, however while I definitely like tomatoes better, zucchini was OK in a pinch. Tara

  2. HI, This looks like a wonderful recipe. I’d love to try it. What size jar is that mustard, how many grams or ounces? And what colour vinegar, apple, brown, white? Thanks.

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