Pickled Green Tomatoes

Italy’s favourite condiment. This Pickle is a great addition to salads, or as a side dish to a delicatessen platter.

Who connected us? We grow cherry tomatoes in our garden and at the end of the season, when the weather gets colder, the tomatoes still grow in abundance but hardly ripen anymore. Because I don’t like to waste food, and green fruit is actually quite healthy, I searched for recipes with green tomatoes. Asian dishes use green fruit, like green papaya, green mango and green tomatoes, but I stumbled upon an Italian recipe to preserve the unripe fruit.

Makes: 2 small jars or 4 cups | Preparation time: 3 x 10 min | Total time: 2 days

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups green cherry tomatoes, halved. You can also use large green tomatoes sliced.
  • half a red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 cups vinegar. I used a standard white vinegar, but you can use wine vinegar if you like to be fancy.
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • optional: 2 or 3 small green, red or yellow peppers and 1 carrot chopped, sliced red chilli

Instructions:

  1. Clean the cherry tomatoes and cut in half. When you use large tomatoes, remove the core and cut into slices.
  2. Lay out tomatoes in layers in a large bowl together with the onion, sprinkling salt in between each layer.
  3. Cover the bowl and leave to stand in a cool, dark place for a full day.
  4. After those 24 hours, take the tomatoes out of the bowl and drain them in a colander. Squeeze tomatoes gently and leave in colander for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been drained.
  5. Mix the vinegar and water together in a bowl, add the tomatoes (and green pepper and carrots, if using) into the vinegar/water bowl, making sure the liquid covers all of the vegetables. You might need to add some extra vinegar to cover the tomatoes. Cover and set aside for approximately 12 hours.
  6. After these 12 hours, drain the liquid from the tomatoes, using a colander.
  7. Keep the tomatoes in the colander and place a small plate over them, so that the vegetables are being pressed down (and drained through the colander in the bottom.) Add some weight to the top of the small plate so it adds extra pressure to the pickled veggies. Leave it like this for 3-4 hours.
  8. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, oregano and cracked peppers.
  9. Clean and sterilise your jars. You can sterilise the jars in a 120 degrees celsius oven for about 15 minutes..
  10. Once the vegetables have finishes their 3-4 hour colander draining, stuff them into the jars, push them in firmly and pour the oil mixture over until all vegetables are covered with oil mixture and seal tightly.
  11. These measurements aren’t exact! You might need a little less or more of the olive oil mixture to make sure the veggies are covered and fit well in the jar.
  12. Store the jars in a refrigerator or cool dark room. These tomatoes can be eaten after 24 hours but waiting a week is preferable to develop flavours. Make sure all vegetables left behind in the jar are covered with oil, adding additional oil if necessary. Keep for 2-3 months.

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