Green tomatoes—an impatient person’s dream.
If you’re like me, you can’t wait for peak tomato season, that magical time of year when there is an abundance of sweet, juicy tomatoes available everywhere you turn. But if you’re also like me, waiting for tomatoes to reach peak ripeness is, well, difficult. Produce ripening patience is certainly a learned skill.
So, while we wait, let me introduce you to the green tomato. Green tomatoes are simply unripe tomatoes. They’re hard, crunchy, and a little sour. They’re absolutely delicious fried, but also the perfect candidate for pickling.
And it’s incredibly simple to do. After a few days in a vinegary brine, the green tomatoes transform into tangy treats that retain their crunch. The perfect holdover for an impatient tomato lover.
It’s a Pickle Party
Quick pickling is one of my favorite methods for extending the life of my vegetables—and stocking my fridge with briny condiments and treats. It doesn’t require canning equipment and water baths, or an understanding of lacto fermentation—all you need is vinegar and a few days' time.
To quick pickle, well, anything, you simply submerge your vegetable (or fruit) in a brine of vinegar and water, stick it in the fridge for a few days, and wait.
The fun comes in when you add spices and aromatics to the mix to infuse your pickles with different flavors.
For these pickled green tomatoes, I love to add garlic, dried chile peppers, mustard seeds, and a bit of ground turmeric. The end result is a little spicy, a little sweet, and absolutely mouthwatering.
Customize Your Pickle
That being said, quick pickle recipes are mostly just formulas. Have fun experimenting with different flavor combinations to find your perfect pickle. A few ideas:
- Change up the vinegar. This recipe uses apple cider vinegar, but you could swap in white vinegar, wine vinegar, or even rice vinegar (avoid aged vinegars like balsamic, though).
- Slice some aromatics. Thin slice a knob of ginger or a small onion and add it to the jar (this would be especially delicious with the rice vinegar swap).
- Utilize that herb garden. Fresh herbs are a great addition to quick pickle jars. Pack a few sprigs of dill, thyme, or rosemary to your jar to add some herby flavor.
- Dig into your spice cabinet. Get creative with flavor combinations by adding more spices to the mix. Whole peppercorns, coriander seeds, pepper flakes, and smoky paprika all would taste great in the mix.
Whole spices tend to be better for pickling. You can add a small amount of ground spices (like the turmeric in this recipe) but try not to go overboard—adding too much can create a powdery film on your pickles.
The Rewards of Pickled Green Tomatoes
Aside from snacking on a few straight out of the jar, I love using a few slices to top my favorite sandwiches (BLTs, grilled cheese, breakfast sandwiches) or burgers, or chopping a few up to add to salads or savory breakfast bowls.
Have Yourself a (Quick) Pickle Party!
Pickled Green Tomatoes
These pickled green tomatoes require 5 days of pickling in the fridge. They are not intended for water bath canning.
For this recipe you can use fresh jalapenos or serrano peppers or dried chile de arbol, ancho chiles, or chipotle peppers.
1 pound green tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2-3 fresh or dried chiles (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 (1-quart) jar
Wash and slice the tomatoes:
Wash the tomatoes well, then, use a serrated knife to remove the tomato core and then slice them into 1/4-inch rounds.
Prepare and fill the jar:
Wash and dry a 1-quart glass jar with its lid. Carefully place the tomato slices into the jar along with the smashed garlic cloves, chiles, mustard seeds, and turmeric.
Make the brine:
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, brown sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes.
Pour the brine into the jar:
Carefully transfer the hot brine to a glass, heat-safe liquid measuring cup or pitcher, then pour over the tomatoes, making sure they are completely submerged and leaving 1/2 inch space from the top of the jar (depending on how packed your jar is, you may have a small amount of brine leftover).
Seal the jar with the lid.
Chill the pickles:
Let the brine cool to room temperature, then transfer the jar to the fridge. Store in the fridge for 5 days, then they are ready to eat!
Pickled green tomatoes can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months—they’ll continue to develop flavor the longer you hold them.
Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 10|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||86%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|