The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Garden Cleanup = Spicy Pickled Green Tomatoes

November 3rd, 2009 · 8 Comments · Posted in garden, Recipes

October yields a green tomato bonanza

October yields a green tomato bonanza

Here we are turning the page on October and still we’re cleaning up the garden from summer. Down comes the cucumber trellis. Out go the okra plants.

But what have we here? A Roma tomato plant covered in green tomatoes? And over here–green cherry tomatoes, dozens of them.

Should I regret the tomatoes never ripened, or rejoice over another opportunity to pickle green tomatoes?

We already have a pantry full of our favorite sweet pickled green tomatoes as well as the green tomato and apple chutney we like so much. Lately I’ve been on the prowl for a savory pickled green tomato, especially after tasting a really good one at the pickle festival in New York. I can’t say I’ve done all the necessary homework, but then up popped this recipe on the Atlantic Food Channel. I thought I’d give it a try.

The recipe comes via Greek food writer Aglaia Kremezi who calls for two or three pounds of green tomatoes and is a bit vague on which kind of jars to can them in and precisely how to process the jars. The photo accompanying the story shows a storage jar with a clamped lid, not the kind you normally process. But since I had several such jars lying around, I pickled some of my tomatoes in those, and the rest in conventional Ball jars that got processed and sealed in boiling water.

The recipe also calls for onions and various kinds of peppers and I was happy to oblige with the odds and ends I gleaned from the garden. We just happened to have peppers still on the vine, as well as onions from our summer harvest in storage. Don’t be afraid to make your own substitutions.

• 2-3 pounds firm green tomatoes, large or small
    • 1 large or 2 medium onions, quartered or cut into 8 pieces
    • 4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
    • 3-4 bell peppers, red or green, seeded and each cut into 6 long pieces
    • 3-4 fresh or dried chilies, halved lengthwise with scissors but left attached at the stem
    • 4 bay leaves
    • 2-3 tablespoons coarsely crushed coriander seeds

The Brine:

    • 1 quart white vinegar 

    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons honey 

    • 3 tablespoons salt
    • 2 cinnamon sticks

Cut the tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic and layer them in clean jars with the chilies, bay leaves and coriander seeds. Mix all of the brine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the honey and salt are completely dissolved. Pour the brine into the jars covering the vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Seal the jars and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Storage jars make attractive containers for pickles. Since they haven’t been processed, I plan to keep them in the fridge. Kremezi recommends waiting 10 days before eating these pickled green tomatoes.  We’ll do that and give another report later.

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  • Rambling Spoon

    We’re in the same kitchen, so to speak. I’ve spent much of the past week making sweet green-tomato relish, spicy green-tomato relish, raw green-tomato salsa, cooked green-tomato salsa, and green-tomato bacon sauce. Now, the pomegranates….

  • Ed Bruske

    Karen, green tomato bacon sauce? You’ve got my attention….

  • MPinDC

    I also had a bucket of green tomatoes so after making roasted green tomato salsa, curried green tomatoes and green tomato chutney I was ready for pickling.

    Now I have a few different kinds of pickles in the refrigerator – Italian Farmhouse Green Tomato Pickles (from the Splendid Table website) was a big hit in my house.

  • Ed Bruske

    Sharon, curried green tomatoes? You have my attention. I also like the idea of Italian green tomato pickles. Our Greek tomato pickles have turned out very well, especially after leaving a stick of cinnamon in the jar.

  • MPinDC had a green tomato recipe contest, green tomato curry was the first entry:

    I made it w/out garbanzo beans (they didn’t seem to fit); the first time I had it in the chunky stage with rice and then next day pureed it for a nice soup. I liked it better the second day.

    I’ll have to try the greek pickles w/cinnamon. Sounds like a winning combination~

  • Ashley

    How long will these keep in the fridge?

  • Ed Bruske

    I’m not sure anyone knows the answer to that–long enough for us to finish the whole jar

  • West

    I will make these for the house.