First, let's discuss the process of pickling. When we pickle a food, we soak it in a solution that prevents it from spoiling. One method of pickling involves vinegar; bacteria can't really survive in that type of acid. Another involves salt brine; the brine encourages good bacteria to grow, which makes the food less apt to spoil.
You can pickle your green tomatoes using the sterile, high-temperature method of canning, or you can pickle them with a simpler refrigeration method. We'll briefly discuss each method here:
The canning method:
- Slice up your tomatoes and some onions and place them in a bowl.
- Sprinkle liberally with salt, stir, cover the bowl and leave for four to six hours. (The salt removes excess liquid, which will make your tomatoes crunchier.)
- Place the mixture in cheesecloth and gently squeeze to remove extra juice.
- Throw out salty water.
- In a pot, mix up the tomatoes and onions with sugar, vinegar, celery and mustard seeds, coriander, pepper, and stir.
- Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Place the tomatoes and liquid in sterilized jars, cover with lids and then place the jar in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (this seals the jars and makes them safe for storage).
- After they cool down, store in a cool, dark place.
The refrigeration method:
- Use clean jars. A dishwasher can sterilize them, or you can boil the empty jars.
- Add garlic, dill seeds and peppercorns to the jar.
- Slice up your clean green tomatoes.
- Fill up the jar to about a half-inch from the top.
- In a pot, combine distilled vinegar, water and salt, and bring to a boil.
- Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Pour the brine over the tomatoes to one-fourth of an inch from the top.
- Wipe off the jar top and tightly screw on the lid.
- Age for at least two days in the fridge.
There you have it! Keep reading for ways to use your new batches of pickled green tomatoes.