Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes

Oops.

I got a little overzealous while trimming the cherry tomato plant and ended up with a dozen green tomatoes on the ends of what I thought were dead branches.  I also found one disgusting tomato caterpillar that I screamed at and dropped a few times before throwing it and its branch in the greens bin.  It can munch away at discarded leaves until trash day.

Fortunately, it's a thing to make pickles out of green tomatoes, and it is surprisingly easy.  If you're doing a small batch like mine, you don't even need to process them, just keep the jar in the fridge and eat them within a month.

Since I've never made any kind of pickle, I researched various recipes before settling on Food in Jars'.  It is intended for full-sized tomatoes, but I figured I'd do it anyway.  I didn't have dill seed, so I substituted dill weed, as a different site recommended.  By the time I sliced the tomatoes in half and got them in the jar with the seasonings, they exactly filled a half-pint jar, so I'm scaling her recipe for that.

As for the all-important question of taste, they taste like "pickles".  Dilly, vinegary, and crunchy.  They don't really taste like tomatoes.  I had some on rye bread with cottage cheese, and it made a nice lunch.

*1 C green cherry tomatoes (about 12), sliced in half
1/4 C white distilled vinegar (you know, the one with the picture of a pickle on the label)
1/4 C water (purified if you have it)
*1 tsp pickling salt or a slightly heaping teaspoon of non-iodized kosher salt
*2 cloves garlic, peeled
*1/4 tsp whole peppercorns
*1 bay leaf
*1 tsp dry dill weed

1.  Wash, then boil a one-cup container and lid, even if you're not canning, for several minutes.

2.  Drain jar or container and place garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and dill at bottom.  This is because they will float when the brine is introduced and not infuse the pickles.  Cover with cut tomatoes and cram everything in.

3.  In a small saucepan, boil together vinegar, water, and salt until salt is dissolved.  Carefully pour over tomatoes to top of jar.  Cover and refrigerate if not processing, or process for at least 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

4.  Let pickles marinate, in the fridge for non-processed or on the shelf for processed, for at least several days before serving.  Keeps one month non-processed, over a year processed.

Makes one cup

Difficulty rating  π

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