Tomato-Pepper Relish

Tomato-Pepper Relish

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From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2018

The easiest, fastest way to boost a simple dish? Keep a jar of flavor-packed pickle on hand. A perfect combo of sweet and sour, this chunky tomato-pepper relish, aka "pea helper," dresses up a bowl of black-eyed peas, crowder peas, lima beans—any old legume you can think of. Hence the nickname! This makes the perfect hostess gift because it's unique and versatile. And let's face it, who doesn't want their beans to be more exciting?

Ingredients 56 servings

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Original recipe yields 56 servings
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  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 cups diced bell peppers (about 3½ pounds)
  • 5 cups diced yellow onions (about 1½ pounds)
  • 12 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 16 cups diced tomatoes (about 7 pounds)
  • 1¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups red-wine vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes plus all their accumulated liquid, brown sugar, vinegar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 2½ hours.
  2. Ladle into 7 sterilized pint-size jars (see Tips). Leave about ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Place lids and rings on the jars. Twist until just finger-tight (won't move with gentle finger pressure), but don't overtighten. If canning, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (see Tips). Otherwise, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 month. If canned, store at room temperature for up to 1 year.
  • Equipment: 7 pint-size (16 oz.) canning jars with lids
  • Tips: Wash jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well; dry the bands. Place the rack in the canning pot and place the jars, right-side up, on the rack. Add enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, but keep the jars in the hot water, covered, until ready to use.
  • When the recipe is ready, remove the jars from the hot water with the jar lifter, pour out any water, and place on a towel (if placed directly on a cold surface, the jars could crack). Add vegetables or pickle recipes to the jars. Use the funnel to fill jars with brine, leaving ½ inch of headspace and making sure the liquid covers the vegetables. Run a chopstick around the inside of the jars to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean towel. Add lids and rings and tighten until just finger-tight (won't move with gentle pressure), but don't overtighten.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ¼ cup
  • Per serving: 53 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 2 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 5 g added sugars; 1,029 IU vitamin A; 42 mg vitamin C; 17 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 109 mg sodium; 218 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Vitamin A (21% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, ½ other carb

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