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Green tomato pickle recipe made with unripe tomatoes. These pickles are easy to make, are economical and full of vitamins.
WHAT TO DO WITH GREEN UNRIPE TOMATOES?
So after preserving horseradish and making watermelon rind jam, pickling zucchini and making zacusca, I thought I would go a step further and make something I have been craving for years now: green tomato pickles.
How about all those unripe green tomatoes, which will not manage to get ripe anymore this summer? If you ever kept your own tomato plants in the garden, balcony or greenhouse you know what I am talking about.
End of August, the start of September, the leaves of the tomato plants starting to get yellow, and you just know that those tomatoes will not make it anymore. And they are always so many of them. Nice and round, bursting with life, but with no chance of ever getting ready to eat.
So what to do with the green unripe tomatoes? Pickles, of course, it would be such a shame to just throw them away. Or some amazing green tomato salsa verde. Or you could slice them and make green tomatoes on the grill.
So I did make the green tomato pickle recipe like I do almost every year now, and after I leave them for about four weeks to allow them to develop the taste, I can finally enjoy their juiciness, tanginess and exquisite flavor.
ARE GREEN TOMATOES BAD FOR YOU?
I grew up on green or unripe tomatoes pickles in Romania, we had them in winter at least every few days, but when coming to Germany I discovered that many people could not even understand how I can actually eat unripe tomatoes.
You see, they all keep thinking that unripe tomatoes are poisonous. Just as that small green stem part of a ripe tomato as well, they are all patiently cutting that away from every cherry tomato they put into their mouth for fear of getting poisoned.
Well, like my cousin Adi bluntly put it: “Considering that I have never removed that green thing from the tomatoes and with all the green tomatoes pickles I have been eating all my life, I should be long dead! But I am not!”
So, just in case you are still worried about eating green tomato pickles.
Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, like eggplants and potatoes for instance, which all produce a toxic substance called solanine, which is part of their defense mechanism against animals. Tomatoes produce a similar, yet less toxic substance called tomatine.
Both these substances can sometimes cause an upset stomach. BUT, that will only happen if you eat kilos of green tomatoes, green potatoes or raw eggplants every day, which I am sure you will not, nobody does.
So, learn how to make pickled green tomatoes and enjoy them.
HOW DO YOU MAKE GREEN TOMATO PICKLES?
- I mixed some celeriac and carrots among the green tomatoes, I love their sour crunchiness, you could do that as well or choose other vegetables like small cauliflower florets for instance.
- Do try to get the fresh horseradish root, I really feel it makes a difference, the taste of the tomatoes would just not be genuine enough without it.
- You will need rather large canning jars, large enough to hold at least five or six tomatoes per jar, preferably more. I tend to pickle small to medium-sized tomatoes and slice and fry or grill their larger companions. For more on sterilizing jars, have a look at the link.
- I had about 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs green tomatoes. However, you can use how many green tomatoes you happen to have. Make enough pickling liquid (calculating the water-salt ratio) and discard the rest of it, if it is too much, it is just water with salt.
How to make pickled green tomatoes step by step:
- Wash the green tomatoes.
- Peel and thickly slice the carrots.
- Peel the celeriac and cut it into cubes, about the size of the carrot slices.
- Clean the celeriac leaves as well.
- Peel the horseradish, wash it thoroughly and cut it into finger-thick stripes, about as thick and long as the little finger.
- Bring the water and the salt to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Let cool slightly, not longer than 3-4 minutes. If it gets too cool, reheat it. The liquid should be very hot, but not boiling.
- In the meantime place some of the horseradish stripes on the bottom of the prepared jars.
- Start adding the green tomatoes, alternating some carrot slices, celeriac cubes, celeriac leaves, more horseradish stripes, garlic cloves and bay leaves in between.
- Sprinkle some mustard, dill seeds and black peppercorns in each jar.
- Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid in the jars. Wait for 1 minute, then pour more liquid if necessary. The unripe green tomatoes have to be completely covered with pickling liquid.
- Seal the jars very well and keep in a dark cool place.
HOW LONG DO PICKLED TOMATOES LAST?
- Leave the green tomato pickles for 4 weeks before you start eating them.
- Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.
- The green tomato pickles will last at least over the winter, so about 4-6 months.
HOW TO SERVE PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES?
In Romania, pickled green tomatoes are served as a side dish for many dishes in the winter months.
I’ve always been a fan of pickles and this green tomato pickle recipe has always been my favorite, I could eat the pickled tomatoes every day, either at breakfast with bread and cheese or as a side dish for several kinds of dishes like:
PIN IT FOR LATER!
- green (unripe) tomatoes, about 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs
- 2 thick carrots, optional
- about 200 g/ 7 oz celeriac, optional
- some celeriac leaves from the celeriac
- about 150 g/ 5.3 oz fresh horseradish root
- 3 liter/ 6.3 pints/ 12 ½ cups water
- 4 tablespoons coarse salt without iodine
- garlic cloves, about 3-4 per jar
- bay leaves, about 2-3 per jar
- about 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- about 1 tablespoon dill seeds
- about 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- Sterilize the jars. For more information on sterilizing jars, have a look at this post.
- Wash the green tomatoes. Peel and thickly slice the carrots. Peel the celeriac and cut it into cubes, about the size of the carrot slices. Clean the celeriac leaves as well. Peel the horseradish, wash it thoroughly and cut it into finger-thick stripes, about as thick and long as the little finger.
- Bring the water and the salt to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Let cool slightly, not longer than 3-4 minutes. If it gets too cool, reheat it.
- In the meantime place some of the horseradish stripes on the bottom of the prepared jars. Start adding the green tomatoes, alternating some carrot slices, celeriac cubes, celeriac leaves, more horseradish stripes, garlic cloves and bay leaves in between.
- Sprinkle some mustard, dill seeds and black peppercorns in each jar.
- Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid in the jars. Wait for 1 minute to allow the liquid to set in the jar and add more liquid if the tomatoes are not completely covered with pickling liquid. Seal the jars very well and keep in a dark cool place.
- Leave the pickles for four weeks before you start eating them. Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.
- See above for serving ideas.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5298mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.