Fermented Chow-Chow Relish

a jar of chow chow and a half jar of sauerkraut juice
Fermented Chow-Chow alongside some sauerkraut juice

FERMENTED CHOW-CHOW
3 cups roughly chopped green tomatoes
1 cup sweet red peppers, roughly chopped
1 cup green bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 cup roughly chopped onions
1 or 2 habanero peppers, seeded and quartered
2 T salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups naturally fermented sauerkraut, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp celery seeds

Chop and mix green tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, onion and hot peppers. Add salt and sugar. Combine and let sit for 3 hours until juices make your brine. (I keep the veggies in chunks so they will be easier to keep below the brine while fermenting.) Then add chopped sauerkraut (homemade or fresh only), mustard seeds, turmeric and celery seeds. Sauerkraut jump-starts the ferment.

Pack into a 2 quart jars and cover with a cabbage leaf if you have one and use your favorite method to weigh it all down and keep veggies below brine. Cover with tight lid and let sit at room temperature for about a week to ferment.

Remove the weight and covering and taste to be sure it is becoming sour. At this point, you can transfer to a food processor (in batches) and pulse until you get the chop and texture you prefer for chow chow. (Yes, you can leave it big and chunky if you want.)

Return to jar and refrigerate. Flavors develop over time and this tastes best when refrigerator-aged a month or longer. Very good served with hot dogs and brats, but also with chicken and pork (spoon over meats and bake or cook in a slow-cooker). Keeps for months.

Note: You can vary your vegetables depending on what you have on hand, but keep proportions the same with about 3 cups vegetables to each tablespoon of salt. If you do, uses moderately firm textured vegetables. Example: Cauliflower would be a good substitute if you don’t have enough peppers.

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