Chow Chow Relish – tangy Southern relish that is good on everything as a condiment.
Sunday is my cook day. The rest of the week is just a matter of assembling meals that I’ve prepped. I keep things pretty simple, reserving all my food fussing for the sauces and dressings. I typically make 2-3 per week, but this chow chow is always on hand.
I’m not sure how many people outside of the South, Pennsylvania, or New Mexico know about the magic that is chow chow. From here on out, I promise to no longer be selfish and will commit to hyping up chow chow for the amazing wonder that it is.
What’s in a typical chow chow relish?
I feel compelled to explain right off the bat, that chow chow does not have any connection to the four legged furry creatures. Chow chow relish varies by region but I’d describe Southern versions as sort of a hybrid of slaw and relish. In the South though peppers, green tomatoes and cabbage are mainstays along with a combination of spices including typically mustard seeds, coriander, and salt and pepper. I adapted my grandmother’s approach which was to preserve whatever summer vegetables she had on hand. I have access to a lot of good cauliflower and collard greens so they both went into my recipe and for good measure I threw in padron peppers. I usually stick to red and green bell peppers, but had a rather large haul of padrons from the farmers’ market. Color, flavor, and crunch are all achieved in this chow chow recipe.
What does chow chow go well with?
I remember as a kid having no clue what the jar of vinegary vegetables were in our refrigerator, but I ate it all the time. I couldn’t get enough. I ate it with just crackers, topped my hot dogs, and doctored up those old school cans of Wolf brand chili. Everybody loved my chili back then! Beyond my world famous chili I’ve included on biscuits and gravy, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and smoked pulled pork.
Chow Chow Relish
If you make this tangy Southern relish aka chow chow, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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For other addictive all purpose condiments check out this roasted red pepper sauce.
Southern Relish aka Chow Chow Recipe
- 1 cup cauliflower florettes
- 1 cup cabbage chopped
- 1 cup collard greens thinly chopped
- 1/2 cup padron/shishito peppers chopped
- ½ cup white onion chopped
- ½ cup red peppers diced
- 3 tablespoons salt separated
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
Combine cauliflower, cabbage, greens, onions, patron peppers and red pepper in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon salt and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain vegetables and discard liquid.
In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander, ginger, turmeric, sugar, water, vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat
Place vegetables in a glass mason jar and pour the boiling liquid over them. Set aside and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before using.