Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

During the summer I was exploring green tomatoes and while I was researching them I came across the concept of pickled green tomatoes. I had never even heard of pickled green tomatoes before but since I really like cucumber pickles and I had recently discovered that I liked green tomatoes I just had to try making some. After a bit of searching I found this recipe for pickled green tomatoes on about.com: American Food that sounded like a good place to start. The pickled green tomatoes were super easy to make, though I did have to wait several months before I could even try them. (Hence the delay in posting until long after green tomato season.) That long wait was certainly worth it though! The pickled green tomatoes turned out really well! They are nice tangy and extra crunchy with a touch of heat and an exotic blend of spices. I made half of the pickles in wedges for snacking and I sliced the other half for use in sandwiches. What is your favorite way of enjoying pickled green tomatoes?

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Servings: 1
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound green tomatoes (quartered and/or sliced)
  • 1 quarts worth of canning jars (sterilized*)
  1. Bring everything but the tomatoes to a boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stuff the tomatoes in the the jar(s).
  3. Pour the liquid over the tomatoes making sure to cover them.
  4. Put the lids on and give them a good shake to make that all of the air bubbles come out to the top.
  5. Store in the fridge for 3 months.
  6. * To sterilize the jars:
  7. Wash in hot soapy water.
  8. Keep the lids in boiling water until ready to use.
  9. Place jars in 225F/110C oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until ready to use.


Pastafaryan said...

This is my favourite kind of pickles. But in my country, we pickle them without slicing. Then, we slice them right before we eat. But I'm sure they taste great in this way, too.

I love your recipes, keep it up!

Sook said...

Wow, I've never tried these before. I wonder what that tastes like.

Pam said...

Don't you love opening up a jar of something that you canned in the summer?!

Kristina said...

My mom used to pickle green tomatoes with onions, cabbage and cucumbers in the same jar. I loved it!

Julie said...

This sing to my very soul! Back home they served pickled green tomatoes at one of my favorite catfish places, and I loved them so much. Hush puppies are awfully good with a little bit of pickled tomato juice on them :)

Mona said...

Kevin, I just a few minutes going through some of your latest posts that I wasn't able to go through recently, and OMG, you made my mouth water! They all look and sound super yumm!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I really got to like green tomatoes while I was in Tennessee. I made green tomato relish but this is something new. Thank you.

Claudia said...

Great, now I know what I will do next summer with part of my tomatoes. They seem to ripen always at the same time.

Nina's Recipes said...

Kevin, it's funny and sad in the same time; you had to wait 3 months to enjoy the pickled tomatoes!? wow...next time DO NOT STORE THE JARS IN THE FRIDGE FOR THREE MONTHS! Keep them on the kitchen counter or out side (in summer time) and you can eat them in less then 10 days! Refrigerate after you open the jar.
Trust me and good luck! :)
p.s the recipe sounds similar like mine, minus cinnamon!

janelle said...

I love that you made pickled green tomats! You seem to be brave in facing jams, chutneys, pickles and the like. That is quite fantastic; I hope to work my way towards more of the same!

Joanne said...

These are so cool! I really adore pickles and absolutely know I would love these. Except for the waiting part. I'm not exactly the most patient person...at least not when it comes to good food.

moishe said...

Gotta pickle them whole and eat with a pastrami sandwich and a Cel-ray soda. That was what you found in ye old NY Jewish delis. I have a jar of them in my refrigerator. By Ba-Tempte

If you like cuke pickles you have to try these. Cukes have their place but I like these better

Cara said...

pickled green tomatoes are one of my husband's favorite things! But Kevin, how dare you tease us with this recipe we need to wait months to even attempt!

Ed Schenk said...

I have only pickled cucumbers. I'll have to try this!

ajam00 said...

My Mom use to pickle EVERYTHING. However, pickled green tomatoes is one of my favorite childhood memories. It's funny, she and I were talking about her pickled tomatoes last week. I hope to make some this summer. Thanks for the post.

Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

I've never had pickled tomatoes. Can you make the same kind of pickles using tomatillos? I'm usually not so creative with the tomtatoes I grow during the summer and make salsa and salads :-/

Crystal said...

I was just introduced to pickled green tomatoes this summer and I love them. The ones I have are pickled with some sort of red peppers and a little bit spicy, but super good. I love them :-)
Love your blog...getting ready to try the cauliflower soup (wondering if I could use a different kind of cheese, my kids don't like Parmesan).

Kevin said...

Crystal: I think that the cauliflower soup would also be really nice with some good parmesan.

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

This is another one that hubby would love - he is a sucker for anything pickled :)

Lexi said...

I was looking through your ingredients and was confused by one, maybe you could help? You put just "6 cloves"....of what?? You have 2 cloves of garlic on there as well so it's not that...

Lexi said...

Never mind my previous question...I just realized you meant whole black cloves.

Joy said...

I don't understand why you have to store them in the fridge if you've sealed them? I know you have to after you've opened the jar.. but before???

Kevin said...

Joy: Sorry about the confusion, if you properly sterilize the jars then you don't need to store them in the fridge but if you skip the sterilization then you will want to store them in the fridge.

Mihaela said...

Hi, I'm Romanian and we eat a lot a pickled green tomatoes in Romania. Last year I made a lot of them, and I still have some, so I was thinking this fall to mix them with some cauliflower, carrots, peppers... I'll post it on my blog when I'll make it, I have to get to the farm first :) BTW I like your blog :)

serenad33 said...

How do you tell if the tomatoes have spoiled? The liquid in my jars is cloudy and I am afraid to try them. Tips please on telling if your canned food is spoiled!

Kevin said...

serenad33: I am not an expert but I would say that if the pickles look or smell funny that I would not eat them. It is better to play it on the safe side.

espresso style said...

Hey, did you know that in Romania (i live there) pickled green tomatoes are a standard pickle (like cucumbers)? yes, it's true. people make them at home in the fall in large plastic barrels and eat them all winter long. cheers!

Judy Goldin said...

They also pickle the rinds of water melon right Romanian friends.
Are green tomatoes ordinary tomatoes but still green?

Kevin Lynch said...

Judy Goldin: Yes green tomatoes are just unripened tomatoes. Around here we usually only see the ripe red tomatoes until late fall when the farmers pick them while still green so that they do not loose them to the colder weather.

James Rancourt said...

Hi Kevin,

Here is a recipe for my Gram's Sliced Green Tomato Pickles. This is a true "old Fashioned Recipe". Give it a try and let me know what you think. :-)

Gram Little’s Sliced Green Tomato Pickles

By: Jim Rancourt (aka OwlOak)

The nice thing about this recipe is that “the amounts are approximations” and not cast in stone, and that it can easily be scaled up or down depending on the amounts of produce and spices you have on hand. Gram was of the old school of cooking where she would say some of this and some of that and if she was short, or long, on one or more of them she put in what she had. Now, I’ll admit that no two batches ever turned out exactly the same. But, I will solemnly swear that each and every one was delicious.

4 lbs. Green Tomatoes – washed and stem ends removed*
6 Large Yellow Onions - peeled
½ Cup Salt
6 Cups White Vinegar
6 Green Peppers - seeded and diced into ½ in. pieces
3 Sweet Red Peppers – seeded and diced into ½ in. pieces
1 TBS. Mustard Powder
1 TBS. Whole Cloves
1 Stick Cinnamon – broken into pieces
1 TBS. Powdered Ginger
½ TBS. Celery Seed
4 1/2 Cups White Sugar, or 2 ¼ Cups Honey **

6-1 Pint or 3-1 Quart canning jars, lids, and locking rings - sterilized
Cheesecloth and thread, or string
1 very large enamel or stainless steel pot with lid. (I use my enameled water bath canning pot because I usually double or triple the batch)


Slice the tomatoes and onions into rounds about 1/8 inch thick. I use a mandolin – that’s the flat surfaced slicer with adjustable blades that almost everyone has and almost never uses. J

Combine the tomatoes and onions in the pot and sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Let stand overnight, then drain and rinse the mixture to remove the salt.

Make a spice bag with the whole cloves and the cinnamon.

Place the vinegar, sugar, mustard powder, ginger, and celery seed in a large enamel or stainless steel pot and heat to boiling. When the sugar has dissolved add the diced red and green peppers. Then add the tomatoes and onions and reduce to a simmer.

Place the spice bag in the pot, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are transparent, being sure to stir the mixture frequently to insure that all is cooked and doesn’t burn.

Turn off the heat, remove the spice bag and transfer the hot mixture to the sterilized jars leaving ½ inch headspace and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for the pints, and 15 minutes for the quarts.

Any extra can be either processed or chilled in the fridge for an early taste of what’s on the shelf keeping in mind that, as with all pickles, the longer they sit the better they taste.

* The measurement is not critical. I usually figure about 1 pound of tomatoes per pint, and double that for quarts.

** When using Honey a couple of things need to be remembered. Honey is much sweeter than sugar so use ½ as much honey as you would sugar. And, that the sugar in honey breaks down very quickly from high heat and causes a brown discoloring so add the honey as the very last step by stirring it into the mixture just before transferring the mixture to the jars.

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