Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Tomato relish and tuna salad

Jerry Stratton, November 3, 2021

This Australian tomato relish is great as a relish for burgers and dogs, and as a mix-in for a tuna salad sandwich spread.

Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatoes (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 8 ounces onion (1 to 1-½ cup chopped)
  • ½ pound sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • ½ cup vinegar—reserve 1 tablespoon
  • ¾ teaspoon cornstarch

Steps

  1. Chop the tomatoes and onion fine.
  2. Mix with all ingredients except the cornstarch and the reserved vinegar.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 1 hour.
  4. Whisk cornstarch and reserved vinegar together.
  5. Stir cornstarch mix into relish to thicken, boiling about 5 minutes.
Tomato relish

The relish is good spooned over just about anything that could use salsa or relish.

Today is National Sandwich Day. I’ve had sandwich day posts about bread and about the meat that goes in the bread for four years now. Today, I’d like to travel to Australia for a look at the relish that goes between the meat and the bread.

Every once in a while, I run into something unique at an antique store. I often wonder how they got there. How did this typewritten cookbook of the Royal Australian Air Force Women’s Association end up in an antique store in Fort Worth, Texas?

However it happened, I’m glad it did. One of the more intriguing recipes in it is today’s tomato relish. Whenever I buy a new cookbook, I make several test recipes before I decide if I’m going to keep the book. Often I’ll choose a recipe I wouldn’t normally make, and for this cookbook that was the tomato relish. I’m a big fan of dill relish; not so much of other kinds.

Because this is an Australian recipe, the tomatoes, onion, and sugar are all measured by weight, not volume. I’ve put approximations of what the volume should be after each of those ingredients, and there’s a lot of leeway anyway; you should be able to adjust the ingredients according to your own taste. That said, a kitchen scale is an invaluable cooking and baking tool, and decent digital ones are relatively inexpensive.

Dogs and burgers with tomato relish

Biscuits make great burger buns.

This relish is different from anything I’ve had before. It’s sort of a cross between ketchup and relish, which doesn’t sound appetizing, and yet it is. I had it first on a biscuit burger. I used my half-hour biscuit recipe. I discovered earlier this year that these biscuits are great for hamburgers from the grill if the topping is mainly a relish. I’d had a jar of Michigan cherry salsa I was wanting to try again, and it turned out great with a burger on a biscuit and nothing else. Great enough that I made a mental note to try some biscuit burgers again, soon.

So when I thought about using this relish with a hamburger, I immediately thought of using it on a biscuit burger. But I also love lots of relish on my hot dogs, and I love pigs-in-a-blanket with dogs and biscuits. It’s a comfort food from growing up in Michigan. So I made enough biscuit dough for both burgers and dogs, as well as for some standard biscuits with butter.

To use the biscuits with the hot dogs I put the dog down on the baking sheet and then lay the biscuit dough on top, so that it baked over the dog. I did this because I knew I was going to put toppings on the dogs and did not want to roll it up fully as I normally would.

Tomato-tuna salad on biscuit

I was very impressed by the relish in tuna salad.

This tomato relish works great both for burgers and dogs. But this is National Sandwich Day, and I do not intend to get into the argument about whether either of those are sandwiches. This relish is great on traditional sandwiches as well. It’s great as a replacement for dill relish with lunch meat sandwiches or especially ham sandwiches.

I also love tuna salad sandwiches. I have a favorite tuna salad recipe for sandwiches that calls for dill relish. I tried it with this relish instead and it was phenomenal! And since I still had biscuits left over, I used them for several great tuna salad sandwiches.

Tuna yogurt salad

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 to 7 ounce can tuna
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons pickle or tomato relish
  • 6 tablespoons yogurt

Steps

  1. Drain and flake the tuna.
  2. Chop the celery.
  3. Mix the tuna, celery, and onion.
  4. Mix in the relish.
  5. Add the yogurt and mix well.

I adapted this tuna salad recipe from the Southern Living Party Snacks cookbook in the Southern Living Cookbook Library. The original recipe uses sour cream, but I’ve found that Greek yogurt is a great choice for it. It’s a lighter flavor that accentuates the tuna and relish more than sour cream does. The original also calls for a 7-ounce can of tuna, but today 5-ounce cans are more common. They’ve worked fine for me. If you think it’s not enough tuna, either reduce the rest of the ingredients or use two cans.

Jet Age Cookbook

I found this 1970-ish cookbook in Fort Worth.

The tuna salad recipe makes a little over a cup.

Like all of the Southern Living library, the Party Snacks book is a great cookbook. I’d bet the tomato relish would also be great in the dilly avocado dip in that book, and on the “caraway biscuits”. They’re really crackers, and should be great both with the tomato relish on its own or for dipping into the tuna salad.

If you’re looking for something a little different for National Sandwich Day, try this tomato relish on your sandwiches, and to make your sandwich fillings!

It’s also great on eggs, either scrambled or in French omelets.

The relish recipe as I’ve listed it here makes one jar of tomato relish. Because I only want to make a jar at a time, I halved the recipe as it appeared in Jet Age Cookbook. Double it and you have the original recipe, which will use two small jars or probably one standard mason jar.

In response to National Sandwich Day: National Sandwich Day is a great day to come together for a great sandwich. A great sandwich means great bread, great fillings, and great spreads.