And here we are with Day 3 of the Canning Blitz! We've shared dilly beans and applesauce; today is a green tomato relish that goes by the name of piccalilli.

Piccalilli came about much the same way dilly beans did. But this time it's not because I really like the name! Although I do really like asking Patrick if he'd like some piccalilli as a snack. The reason the dilly beans were actually made was because my dad passed off four pounds of green beans to me. The main component of piccalilli are green tomatoes.

We experienced our first brief frost about a month ago. My dad called the weekend before the frost and said "hey, I've got all these tomatoes that need to come off the vine before the frost comes. Want some?" Patrick can attest to this but when Dad calls and says, "I have some [insert any vegetable], do you want some?" I never turn it down. The other interesting tidbit is I never really quite know what I'm getting myself into when I accept. For instance after this trip down to his farm I came back with a big box of ripe tomatoes, a big box of butterbeans, and he just offhandedly offered a bucket of green tomatoes. So the butterbeans and green tomatoes weren't even planned for! I shelled and flash froze all the butterbeans in 2 quarts bag. The ripe tomatoes were peeled, cored, and then stewed down before I canned them in quart jars as crushed tomatoes. After all of this I was then able to turn my attention to the green tomatoes. I browsed through my canning resources and thought this piccalilli recipe would be just the thing to do with all of them!

After I decided to make it I thought I should know what it is. So I did a bit of research and came up with this: piccalilli is a regional relish of chopped vegetables and has British origins. Wikipedia told me that it was "an English interpretation of Indian pickles, a relish of chopped pickled vegetables and spices; regional recipes vary considerably." And the more I researched the more I saw that regional recipes vary considerably couldn't be more true! It seemed that British piccalilli has quite a bit of mustard in it and that is it's defining characteristic. The Wikipedia page has an expanded section on American piccalilli. It is regionally known in the Northeast, Midwest, and the South. So you read more than you ever wanted to know about piccalilli at the Wikipedia page and googling because I think I've said enough!

Piccalilli [Green Tomato Relish] from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (2012)
   Yield 7 pints
4 quarts chopped, cored, green tomatoes (about 32 medium)
2 quarts chopped cabbage (about 1 large head)
2 cups chopped sweet green peppers (about 4 small)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup Ball Salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
4 1/2 cup vinegar
optional - Ball Pickle Crisp

   Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over vegetables and mix thoroughly; let stand 3 to 4 hours. I let sit overnight. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine sugar, spices, horseradish and vinegar in a large saucepot. Simmer 15 minutes. Add vegetables and bring to a boil.
   Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Patrick and I have been enjoying the piccalilli as a snack with cream cheese and crackers. On this particular day we added some nuts, grapes, and dilly beans. I think it'd be a great addition to summer cookouts!

Almost done with the canning blitz! Come back tomorrow for the last of the canning blitz recipes.


  1. Can't wait to taste this! I did not know this name but sounds like we might also call chow-chow.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share this wonderful post with us. I enjoyed going through your blog for these excellent articles of delicious dishes. Have a wonderful rest of your week.
    Dentist Philadelphia

  3. not a bit like British Piccalilli which has a thick sauce made with cornstarch