July 20, 2005

Green Tomato Pickles

I have no use for red tomatoes, except as an ingredient in cooked sauces or at the core of a Bloody Mary. Green tomatoes, however are one of my favorite vegetables. I'm not particularly into the classic fried green tomatoes (recipe conveniently posted recently by the Acidaughter) but do several other things with them instead.

The simplest thing to do with green tomatoes is to slice them (strive for even thickness), sprinkle with a seasoning herb blend, and George them, that being my verbing of the noun George Foreman Grill. I also dice them, and stew them with sauteed onions, garlic and okra. No particular recipe for this. Just dice everything (except the okra, which I buy frozen in the bag). Heat up some oil in the bottom of a big pot, and when it is hot, throw in the garlic and stir. When it turns frothy, throw in the onions and stir. When they turn translucent, thro in the tomatoes and stir. Turn down the light, simmer for ten minutes, throw in the okra and simmer till tender.

The absolute best thing to do with green tomatoes is to pickle them. I used to buy pickled green tomatoes at the grocery, but I haven't seen those for years. Anyway, mine are better. I just put up several pounds of them, and may do a bushel or more after the first frost.

Sterilize a batch of pint canning jars. Slice the tomatoes top to bottom into six wedges; plums or romas will stack well enough cut into four. Trim off the stem scar and any bruises. Put four peeled garlic cloves, sliced in half, on the bottom of each jar. Some jars also get two quarter sections, partly seeded, of a jalepeno pepper, just to add some tang, but not heat. Fill the jars with tomato segments to just below the rim ring. Add one tablespoon of commercial pickling spice to each jar.

Put one gallon of cider vinigar in a non-reactive pot (I use Pyrex but stainless is fine), and add two cups of sugar. Heat to just short of boiling, while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then pour this, hot, over the tomatoes, filling the jars to just above the rim ring. Make sure the sealing rim is clean, cover, and hot water process per your best practice. If you don't have an established best practice, check with your county extension service or do a little research on line or at the library. It is actually quite simple

The pickles will last several months on the shelf (unless the seal pops - if it does; discard). Once they are opened, I find that with discipline a pint can last a few hours.

Posted by triticale at July 20, 2005 09:11 PM | TrackBack

Ummm... I'd love to try it, but I do love the classic fried green tomatoes... and I even like them red (in salads and BLTs and other things). It's enough of a strain trying to let a few ripen so I can enjoy those, without you telling me to pickle the greenies I can manage to resist! ;)

Posted by: Kathy at July 23, 2005 09:07 PM

Wow, I'm sitting here with box full of green tomatos and was searching online for things to do with them. This is great and I plan on making a batch this evening. Can you tell me how long they need to set in the jars, if at all before they are ready to eat?


Posted by: Aurora at October 2, 2005 02:14 PM

The jar in the fridge right now has a "made" date on it of 7-24. If I remember right they've been ready for at least a month, which fits with the "let sit 3 to 4 weeks" I see in pickling recipes. Note that these are rather sweet, you can back off on the sugar if you prefer. I haven't done it myself, but other recipes suggest salting the tomato slices, leaving them in a colander for a while and then rinsing the salt off. This dries out the tomato and makes for a crisper pickle. Mine are soft.

Posted by: triticale at October 2, 2005 04:59 PM
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