Pickled tomatoes. Can you believe it? Yes, I love pickles, but this seems a little over the top, you think? Naaaah... Let's go for it.
My grape tomato plants are working overtime. I'm also a klutz. What do these two things have in common? Lots of ripe and green grape tomatoes that need eating. I knocked a bunch off my plants when I was moving around in my garden and it is not possible for me to wait for them all to ripen. The ripe ones will spoil if I wait.
Searching high and low, I found a recipe that sounded similar to what I was looking for, thanks to Pretty Prudent. Although I followed the recipe very closely, I had to give it my own spin.
This recipe makes 3 or 4 pints, depending on how tightly you pack your tomatoes, as well as their size. You will also get some evaporation during the simmering process.
1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Pickling Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
6 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
6 Whole Peppercorns
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
3 to 4 Pints Grape/Cherry Tomatoes - Various Stages of Ripening
TIP: 2 Pints = 1 Quart
Prepare your pint or quart jars by washing in warm soapy water and boiling for 10 minutes. Or, since we aren't canning these, you may use the sanitize function on your dishwasher instead.
Wash tomatoes well and use a skewer or, like I did, a Pampered Chef Hold 'N Slice to poke holes through the tomatoes. I pierced them on 2 sides, going over half way through each time. The green tomatoes are tough so be cautious and don't poke your hand.
Pack the holey (not to be confused with holy) tomatoes into the prepared jars.
Mix vinegar, water, and seasonings in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes to blend the seasonings. Cool to room temperature and pour over tomatoes.
You may use a fermenting weight to hold the tomatoes down, if you have any that try to float.
Since we are not canning these, I used a plastic Ball storage lid, but you may use a canning 2 piece lid (may be used previously) and band.
Store in refrigerator. I have recently made these, but Pretty Prudent says they will store refrigerated for months.
Wait at least 5 days to a week before tasting. The green tomatoes take a little longer to absorb the seasonings and vinegar. Delicious!
Again, Pretty Prudent suggests using them in salads, pasta salads, cheese plates, relish for burgers and hot dogs, martini and bloody Mary garnish. I have been eating them right out of the jar, however, they make great garnishes as well as gifts.
I have never canned a tomato with its skin on. I suppose it would become tough. I always recommend tried and true recipes for long-term storage. Recipes from Ball or your local extension office are good places to start. Most tomato recipes that I use require adding lemon juice concentrate (Tablespoon per pint) and processing in a boiling water canner for 45 minutes, which I would think would not give you the consistency you would want in a tomato pickle.