Green tomatoes, even tomatoes that are half-ripe, make wonderful pickles in any degree of sweet and sour. This is a nice little recipe to prepare in advance of any summer gathering, and you can have fun varying the basic ingredients as well as the spices and flavorings. Make it your own. You can call this a chow-chow if you like, you can call it a piccalilli, too, even a chutney if you really want to be stuffy about it, but let’s simply say it’s a relish and be done with it.
Finely dice 6-8 green tomatoes (enough to make a quart), one very firm cucumber, a red bell pepper—you can chop up one or two cayennes or a jalapeno if you want—and a large sweet (yellow) onion into a large bowl, add a tablespoon salt and a half cup brown sugar, stir and let sit for an hour or two (overnight is better). Drain the juices from the vegetables into a large saucepan, add 2 cups white vinegar, another half cup of sugar, and two tablespoons pickling spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for about ten minutes, then strain, add vegetables and cook over medium for another ten minutes or so. Drain excess liquid, transfer to jars to cool, top with a screw-on lid and chill. You can use this as soon as it’s cold, but it’s much, much better the next day. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week.