“Waste not, want not.”
At the beginning of fall, when the weather really begins to cool, there are always green tomatoes left on my almost-spent plants. And no matter how long I wait, those guys just refuse to ripen! Eventually, I surrender, pull up the plants and throw them away, along with the unripe fruits. It seems like such a waste!
But I recently stumbled on the idea of pickling those green tomatoes. (If you read my blog, you already know I like to pickle veggies!). So I made a batch, and I was hooked! Tart, fresh and garlicky, they’re great on a burger or with a sandwich (especially tuna), as an appetizer, on a charcuterie board or in a Bloody Mary (oohh, sign me up!), or anywhere you’d use pickles, like in potato salad.
This recipe makes one pint, but you can easily double the pickling syrup and use a quart-sized jar if you have more tomatoes. It’s super-flexible. Slice or quarter the tomatoes, or use small or cherries whole. You can vary the seasonings. Whatever. Have a go!
Basic Pickled Green Tomatoes
1 pint of green tomatoes (no red ones, please)
1/3 clove of garlic
A couple sprigs of fresh dill
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
½ tablespoon of kosher salt
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Start by washing and cutting the tomatoes. If you’re using small or cherry tomatoes whole, pierce them once or twice with a toothpick so they can absorb the pickling flavors.
Drop the sliver of garlic into the jar. Then fill the jar with tomatoes—but don’t pack them in. (You need room for enough pickling syrup.). Add the dill sprigs-- I love dill, so I use a lot, including the dill flowers. (They look pretty in the jar.)
Next, make the pickling syrup. On the stove in a saucepan heat the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns and crushed pepper flakes. Bring the syrup to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Now pour the syrup into the jar to cover the tomatoes. Screw the lid on the jar and set it to cool, then refrigerate.
Your pickled green tomatoes are ready to eat after one day, but the flavors mature over several days. They’ll last up to three weeks in the refrigerator.