Tomato-Pepper Relish


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?

Prep Time:
50 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
7 pints


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 12 cups diced bell peppers (about 3 1/2 pounds)

  • 5 cups diced yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 12 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 16 cups diced tomatoes (about 7 pounds)

  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar

  • 1 ¼ cups red-wine vinegar

  • 4 bay leaves


  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 2 1/2 hours.

  2. Ladle into 7 sterilized pint-size jars (see Tips). Leave about 1/2 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 1/2 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 Facts (per serving)

53 Calories
1g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 56
Calories 53
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 8g
Added Sugars 5g 10%
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Vitamin A 1029IU 21%
Vitamin C 42mg 46%
Folate 2mcg 0%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Magnesium 12mg 3%
Potassium 218mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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