Green Tomatoes and lots of Garlic!
Come September and October, Here in my neck of the woods the garden is still going. There are tons of tomatoes evolving in various stages. Soon enough the frost will hit. There will be no opportunity for them to ripen on the vine. Personally, I harvest the end of August or beginning of September. By that time I’m pretty sick of garden care and am ready to be done with it. That’s when I pluck all the remaining green tomatoes. Now the question remains, Trish, what will you do with your green tomatoes?
There is the option of Fried Green Tomatoes, but I’m still waiting for a good southern cook to give me advice on that. I could make relish, but I’m not so fond of that, so Pickled is the way for me to go.
Now that the pickling is about 4 weeks behind me, it seems right that tasting time is approaching. That’s for later today, I’ll keep you posted. (no pun intended, LOL) For now, let’s get into the nitty gritty on how to do this.
For a limited time this member’s only content is available for general review.
Basic Brine Recipe – This makes enough for one quart so be sure to adjust for the amount you plan to make
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Wash green tomatoes thoroughly and pluck stems. Be sure there is no evidence of red, pink or ripening – put those aside. They will ripen on your windowsill. I separate the sizes. Cherries in one bowl, small and medium in their own bowls. Large I leave on the windowsill to ripen
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
Gather your utensils. You will need quart-sized jars, lids and rings. (rings can be reused but lids must be new) A canning pot with a rack. (Jars must be kept off the bottom of the pan while both sterilizing jars and processing tomatoes.) When I discovered my rack was missing the alternative was to lay a clean dishtowel at the bottom of the pan. Not the best, but it works. Be sure to have plenty of clean dish towels on hand.
You will also need the jar lifter. This is very important. You are dealing with boiling hot glass and liquids; the proper tool to lift them is imperative. If your pan has a rack with lifting handles it is possible to utilize those for lifting but I prefer to carefully do them one at a time.
See image at left of an inexpensive and good tool kit for canning
I always sterilize my jars and lids. This can be accomplished simply by boiling them for 10 minutes.
To prepare the bath, fill your large pot with enough water to cover jars by about 2 inches.
In a separate saucepan, bring all brine ingredients to a boil.
Mix spice mixture together and place in the bottom of a sterilized jar
Use the wide-mouthed funnel to pour tomatoes into the jar. Pack them well
- Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes using funnel, cover them completely and leaving 1/2-inch head space. Stick a chopstick into the jar and move it around to release any trapped air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar clean and dry. Place a lid onto the jar and twist a ring band over it and tighten slightly.
- Place jars onto rack in the pan filled with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 15 minutes and remove jars carefully using the tool designed for that purpose. Let cool completely. You will hear each lid pop in as the vacuum seals. Once cooled, store in a cool dry place.