How to Pickle Green Tomatoes

Preserve underripe tomatoes is a great way to end the growing season. Find out how to pickle your green tomatoes from a garden expert.

March 24, 2020

Pickled green tomatoes can be eaten straight from the jar.

Pickled green tomatoes can be eaten straight from the jar.

As tomato season draws to a close, we still have more than a few green tomatoes on the vine. Unlikely to beat the frost date to ripeness, some will be taken inside to ripen, some battered and fried, and others will make their way into relish. Even then, plenty remain. What to do with a bumper crop of tomatoes that aren’t going to make it to the finish line?

Some will be frozen for future frying, but my favorite way to preserve this underripe harvest is pickling. To be fair, I like pretty much anything in pickle form, but the firm texture and understated flavor of green tomatoes makes them a terrific candidate for the brine. Pickling green tomatoes is a snap and an easy way to contend with a large crop without losing valuable freezer space.

Surprising Things You Can Pickle

This simple recipe hits just the right notes, but can be adapted to any taste. Use apple cider vinegar instead of white for a sweeter pickle, try adding ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to each jar for a bit of heat, or replace the dill and garlic with a teaspoon each of curry and mustard seed.

Pickled green tomatoes may be eaten straight from the jar, used as a sandwich topper, served alongside charcuterie or may even be used as an alternative garnish for your best Bloody Mary or martini.

'Aunt Ruby's German Green' Tomato - Tomato Varieties - Heirloom Tomato

'Aunt Ruby's German Green' Tomato

'Aunt Ruby's German Green' are beefsteak-type tomatoes that ripen in around 85 days. At maturity, they weigh around one pound each. They don’t turn red, becoming lime to greenish-yellow when they’re ready to harvest. The sweet meat inside has a slight rosy blush.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

Image courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

Pickled Green Tomatoes Recipe

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 pounds green tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
  • 3/4 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

Combine vinegar, water and salt in a pot and bring to boil.

Place 1/2 teaspoon dill, 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns and 2 cloves minced garlic into each of 3 sterile pint jars.

Wash tomatoes and slice or cut into halves or quarters (depending on size).

Pack tomatoes tightly into jars.

Pour brine into jars to cover tomatoes, leaving 1/4" head space.

Cap with lids and bands and process in a water bath 10 minutes to seal.

Store up to one year.

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