Tomato Relish Recipe

Tomato Relish Recipe

A tangy, savory, gluten-free relish is a refreshing condiment in the middle of winter!

I recently paired this with my Ground Beef Cornish Pasties and it perfectly complimented it.

I found some crazy, colorful smallish tomatoes at the store. They were like mini-heirloom tomatoes, and they were just begging to be put into relish.


Initially (confession time here) my original thought before finding these was to make a tomato gravy, but I decided that was boring. 😉

I wanted something that would be flavorful, but hold up to storage in the fridge for a few days then versatile enough to serve with a couple of mains.

Of course, I gathered my ingredients. What is in the mystery jar you might ask? This is bacon grease – please don’t judge.

We use different fats for cooking, and some impart different flavors or have different uses.

Mostly I use unsalted butter plus olive oil, lard (rarely), and bacon grease (for flavor). I am a working mother who does not always have time to fry bacon to render grease for a dish then just throw it away. I need to be able to make meals on the fly or very quickly. No one wants to wait two hours for biscuits n’ gravy on a Saturday morning, it needs to be on the table in about 45 minutes or less before the kids head out to work at their weekend job. Or before they fade away from hunger…

*If you decide to keep some on hand, you will need to take some precautions. Always finely strain all food particles before adding to your jar. Your jar size should be appropriate to what you use on a regular basis. We want to be sure to empty that jar so that it does not stay in there unused for six months. Rotate, rotate.


First, if you don’t have grease on hand then fry four slices of bacon then discard the bacon (or snack, yum!) keeping the grease. Slice one half bunch of green onions, two stalks of celery, and half a lemon.

You will also need two smashed cloves of garlic. To do this, place your knife on top of the garlic clove sideways, make a fist, and smash the knife. This will smash the clove you can peel it, but keep it large enough to throw in the pan.


Add these veggies to you pan with the bacon grease, and saute until softened. While these are cooking slice your tomatoes in half, don’t throw in the pan whole as we want to cook down quickly to retain maximum flavor. We also want a more chunked tomato at the end because this is a relish not a sauce. Add these to the pan, cook for a few minutes just to start to break them down.

You can also use any fresh small tomato for this recipe like San Marzano, Campari, or grape.

Then add salt, pepper, hot red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and chicken broth. I also added a few tablespoons of white wine, but this is optional. Many times I find myself with recipes that require a small amount of wine then I end up not drinking the entire bottle. I freeze the leftover wine in ice cube trays to use later.


Bring the pan to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Break up your larger tomatoes if needed, and cook until the liquid is a creamy but chunky veggie consistency like in the picture below.

This recipe makes a large generous cup or so of relish. It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Alternative serving suggestions: hamburger topping, braised shrimp or fish, or add in to a casserole dish for added depth of flavor.


Tomato Relish Recipe

  • Servings: 1 1/2 generous cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1 pint grape, campari, or san marzano tomatoes

1/2 bunch green onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 lemon, sliced

1 Tablespoon bacon grease for sautéing, or four slices of bacon

1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

2 stalk celery, finely sliced

1/4 hot red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon brown sugar

3 Tablespoons dry white wine, optional

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat a medium-size skillet. Fry bacon, then remove leaving bacon grease in pan. While cooking the bacon, halve the tomatoes. Slice the green onions, lemon, and celery. Smash the garlic cloves.
  2. Once the bacon grease is ready add onions, celery, lemon, and garlic cloves to the pan for a few minutes to soften on medium heat. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, hot red pepper flakes, and brown sugar to pan then cook for about 7 minutes to soften.
  3. Add chicken broth and wine (optional) to pan then cook for additional 15 minutes or until the relish cooks down to a creamy but still chunky consistency.
  4. Serve immediately, or cool to store in the refrigerator. May be stored up to a week. Heat in microwave to serve later.

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