Green Tomatoes – unripe red tomatoes – are our favourite spring vegetable. Tart, crunchy and delicious, they make the best pickles, and these ones just get better and better with time.
Makes 3-4 x 375ml jars
- 1 kg green tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 750ml white wine vinegar
- 375 ml water
- 165g sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 6-8 garlic cloves peeled
- 3-4 strips of lemon peel
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
First, prepare your tomatoes. Larger tomatoes can be cut into quarters or thick slices. Smaller tomatoes in halves. Place in a large bowl. Thinly slice and mix the onion through, if using, then sprinkle with the sea salt. Allow to sit for 2 hours, or even overnight, to draw the excess moisture out.
Make your brine by combining the vinegar, water, sugar and turmeric in a non-reactive, medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to simmering point.
Meanwhile, sterilise your jars and lids.
When the jars are cool enough to handle, drain off and discard the excess liquid from your tomatoes. In each jar add two garlic cloves, a piece of lemon peel, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns. You can replace these aromatics here with dill fronds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, chilli flakes or cinnamon quills, depending on your preference.
Using small clean tongs or clean hands, carefully but tightly pack the tomato pieces into the jars. Pour over the hot brine until the vegetables are completely covered. Remove air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a clean butter knife around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. Wipe the rim of the jar clean with paper towel or clean damp cloth and seal immediately.
Heat process for 15 minutes.
Store in a cool dark place for up to 2 years. Let these sit for about a month before you try them.
And as always, don’t chuck out the brine once you have finished your pickles! It is amazing in a salad dressing