At the end of growing season, just before the first frost, harvest the last of those unripened cherry tomatoes and make a batch of Pickled Green Tomatoes! It’s a shame to let them go to waste when you can make something so delicious in just a few minutes!
Last summer, we didn’t plant any tomatoes at all, but we harvested enough from our compost to make a few salads, a couple of sandwiches, and a batch of marinara sauce or two. However, at the end of summer, we were left with a good amount of unripened cherry tomatoes. If this happens to you, don’t let the frost get them. Harvest them, wash them up and make a batch of these Pickled Green Tomatoes!
I’m one of those people who can source pleasure from canning jars of pickles, tomatoes, and beets in the hot days of summer. As much as it is enjoyable, canning is an arduous task that takes pretty much all day, depending on what you are preserving, of course. Pickled Green Tomatoes, in contrast, takes just minutes. And the time spent is absolutely worth it!
In our home, I’m a tomato lover. John.e likes them on pizza or on a sandwich. He doesn’t care for them much in a salad or on their own. I’m the complete opposite. I can eat tomatoes like an apple! So, these pickled tomatoes were right up my alley! And, just look at how pretty they are! Don’t they look delicious?
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IT’S A QUICK PICKLE YOU SAY?
Quick pickle is a term that is often applied to a fruit or vegetable that is pickled in a quick brine mixture. Usually, the brine will consist of water, vinegar, sugar, and some seasonings. Quick pickle-type recipes are very popular and most of the time can be completed in less than thirty minutes. In this case, my Pickled Green Tomatoes are a quick pickle recipe.
Quick pickle recipes are great for the non-canning/preserving home cook because they require no long-term canning process, no special equipment, and they can be stored in the refrigerator for a period of time. In this case, these tomatoes are safely stored in the fridge for four to six weeks. Keep in mind that they are not shelf stable like traditional canned pickles.
CONDIMENTS CAN MAKE FOOD MORE FLAVOURFUL
I think life without condiments is boring. I don’t care how well prepared or cooked, how expensive, or how much garnish you use; if a meal does not have condiments of some kind, it’s boring and I’m not buying it!
Remember when we were kids and the ultimate condiment was ketchup? I still have a full-on love affair with ketchup, but as an adult, I want more. Serve me something plain and not dressed up in any way, and no matter how good it tastes, I’m not going to enjoy it as much as I should.
Pickled Green Tomatoes are just one way you can jazz up your meals. And, with it being so easy to prepare, there’s really no reason not to have these on hand whenever you can get your hands on some green tomatoes. For that matter, these can most certainly be made with fully ripened red cherry tomatoes as well!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Tomatoes – I’m using a mixture of unripened green tomatoes. Some of these are cherry or grape tomatoes and some are plum/roma tomatoes that have not yet grown to full size. Any smaller green tomatoes will do just fine.
- Garlic – Just one clove of garlic will do the trick. No need to mince it either. Just peel it, quarter it and toss it in!
- Vinegar – Plain white vinegar seems to work the best, but you can use any light-coloured vinegar, like rice, champagne, or even apple cider. The taste will change slightly and so will the colour of the brine.
- Salt – You must use pickling salt, otherwise the brine will be super cloudy.
- Black Peppercorns – These will impart a slightly warm peppery taste.
- Sugar – Just a little bit is all you need to take some of the strength out of the vinegar.
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – This is optional, but I like the warmth. A small amount of chili flakes will not make the tomatoes hot at all but will add little warmth to the taste.
HOW TO MAKE PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES
Let’s start with the brine. This is really easy to do! Add the vinegar, water, pickling salt, peppercorns, sugar, and dried red chili flakes, if using, to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool. Add the quartered garlic clove to the brine now. While the brine is cooling, it is time to prepare the tomatoes.
Wash the tomatoes well under cold running water and transfer them to a bowl. Next, wash a quart-sized mason jar in warm soapy water. Be sure to rinse all of the soap residue off of the jar, seal, and lid. Set that aside. Using a toothpick or a skewer, you will need to puncture and penetrate the entire tomato. Be careful! It’s easy to slip and you could end up puncturing your hand!
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Push the toothpick or the skewer all the way through the tomato from the stem end to the bottom. After each tomato is fully prepared, add them to the clean mason jar. You may need to jiggle the jar a bit to encourage the tomatoes to settle down further to fit as many as possible into the jar. Once the brine has cooled completely, remove and discard the pieces of garlic. Pour the brine into the jar with the tomatoes.
Place a lid on the jar and allow the jar to rest on your counter for one hour. Finally, refrigerate for a minimum of two days before eating. Pickled Green Tomatoes will keep safely in your fridge for 4-6 weeks.
MORE PICKLING RECIPES
I love to pickle things! There are basically two types of pickling recipes. One is a quick pickle, which is what you just read. The other requires that either a water bath or a pressure canning method is applied. In terms of a quick pickle, I have a Pickled Red Onion recipe that is wonderful.
In terms of canning and preserving, I have a few more options. Start with my Pickled Beets. I swear, Dear Reader, these are so easy and so delicious. It’s just like eating candy! My Newfoundland upbringing makes me proud to have a pantry stocked with these Mustard Pickles! Finally, I have two types of pickles. The first, this Sweet Sandwich Pickle, is great with just about anything. And there’s this Bread and Butter Pickle, which is made with zucchini. I could make a meal with those!
HOW TO USE PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES
One of the first, and probably the most obvious way to use these Pickled Green Tomatoes is on a charcuterie board. The tangy, vinegary, sweetness of them pairs so well with cheese! And, I love to wrap a tomato in a slice of salty prosciutto! Here are some other ways to use up your jar of tomatoes!
- Right out of the Jar – This might actually fall under the charcuterie board option we just talked about, but it can even be less complicated than that! Looking for a quick snack? Grab a fork and stab a few of the tomatoes onto it. They’re completely delicious just on their own!
- Make a Sandwich – I love toasted tomato sandwiches! But, using pickled tomatoes just makes the sandwich so much more flavourful!
- Burgers and Hot Dogs – Dice them or slice them and pile them onto your favourite burger or hot dog. There’s no need for pickles or relish if you have pickled tomatoes around!
- Potato Salad – Chop them up and add them to your summer potato salads for a burst of flavour.
- Salad Dressing – Add a dozen or so pickled green tomatoes to your food processor with some olive oil and puree it to make a very deliciously fresh salad dressing!
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Pickled Green Tomatoes
- 2 pints green cherry or grape tomatoes (4 cups)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- Add the vinegar, water, pickling salt, peppercorns, sugar, and dried red chili flakes, if using, to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool. Add the quartered garlic clove into the brine now.
- Wash the tomatoes well under cold running water and transfer them to a bowl. Next, wash a quart-sized mason jar in warm soapy water. Be sure to rinse all of the soap residue off of the jar, seal, and lid. Set that aside.
- Using a toothpick or a skewer, you will need to puncture and penetrate the entire tomato. Be careful! It’s easy to slip and you could end up puncturing your hand!
- Push the toothpick or the skewer all the way through the tomato from the stem end to the bottom. After each tomato is fully prepared, add them to the clean mason jar.
- Once the brine has cooled completely, remove and discard the pieces of garlic.
- Pour the brine into the jar with the tomatoes.
- Place a lid on the jar and allow the jar to rest on your counter for one hour.
- Finally, refrigerate for a minimum of two days before eating. Pickled Green Tomatoes will keep safely in your fridge for 4-6 weeks.
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