Nannie's Chow-Chow Relish

While there are a slew of worthy condiments lining the aisles at your grocery store (Duke's mayonnaise, anyone?), there's nothing quite like homemade. That's especially true when it comes to canning. Taking the season's bounty, blending in new flavors, and jarring a little something for later is well worth the wait.Down South, chow-chow is an end-of-season recipe that makes the most of any veggies left on your backyard vines. Of all the ways to preserve summer flavor, Nannie's Chow-Chow Relish is a classic. This vegetable relish has appeared in many early Southern cookbooks as "piccalilli" and "Indian pickle." No matter what you call it, you'll still get the same great taste. Here, we chop, cook, and season summer vegetables before putting them up in jars to be enjoyed year-round. It takes a little work, but the result is a relish that can dress up even the plainest of meats all year long. Serve it on a hot dog or hamburger in the chilliest of months, and you just might think it's a warm summer day. To really bring the heat, add chopped jalapeños to the vegetables for a fiery touch.

Nannie's Chow Chow Relish
Photo: Southern Living
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
12 jars


  • 2 1/2 pounds green tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped (4 cups)

  • 3 large green bell peppers, chopped (4 cups)

  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped (2 1⁄4 cups)

  • 1 (2 1⁄2-lb.) cabbage, shredded (8 cups)

  • 1/2 cup pickling salt

  • 1 1/2 quarts white vinegar (5% acidity)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Combine salt and 4 cups water; stir until saltdissolves. Pour over vegetables in Dutch oven. Chill 8 hours. Drain vegetables; discard liquid.

  2. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients in Dutch oven; add vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

  3. Pack hot mixture into hot jars, filling to 1⁄2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Coverat once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath 10 minutes; cool.

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