Home Romanian CookingFasting Recipes Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

by Adina 31/08/2017 5 comments

jars with green pickled tomatoes

 

Deliciously tangy green tomatoes pickles, a staple in the Romanian pickling repertoire.

GREEN TOMATO RECIPE

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.

 

green tomatoes preserve Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

How about all those 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 green house you know what I am talking about.

End of August, start of September, the leaves of the tomato plants starting to get yellow and fall and you just know that those tomatoes will not get red 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 them? Pickles, of course, it would be such a shame to just throw them away. Or some amazing green tomato salsa verde.

Some people like to pick those green tomatoes, put them on a shelf and wait for them to get red in the house. Been there, done that, not impressed! They are red, but taste no better than those weird, watery and super tasteless tomatoes you can buy in the supermarket all winter long.

So I gathered my green tomatoes a few weeks ago (maybe a few of them still would have managed to get red, but I wanted the pickles so badly) and preserved a few large jars of green or unripe tomatoes. And after leaving them for about two weeks to allow them to develop the taste, I opened the first jar last week and finally got to enjoy their juiciness and tanginess and exquisite flavor.

 

green tomatoes pickles Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

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 worrying about eating green tomatoes 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 start pickling your unripe green tomatoes and enjoy them.

And in case you are looking for another way of enjoying green/ unripe tomatoes have a look at this recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes. I found this recipe a few years ago and I have made it several times, it is delicious.

 

green tomatoes pickled Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

HOW TO PICKLE GREEN TOMATOES?

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.

I should imagine radishes or kohlrabi would make a nice change as well. Do try to get the fresh horseradish root though, 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 their larger companions. For more on sterilizing jars, have a look at this post.

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 if it is too much, it is just water with salt.

Pickling 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.
  • 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 seeds and black peppercorns in each jar.
  • Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid in the jars.
  • Seal the jars very well and keep in a dark cool place.
  • I prefer to leave the pickles for a few weeks before I start eating them.
  • Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.

 

green tomato pickles Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

 

HOW TO SERVE PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES?

I prefer to leave the pickles for a few weeks before I start eating them. Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.

In Romania, pickled green tomatoes are served as a side dish for many dishes in the winter months.

Like I have mentioned in my last post about the Zucchini Pickles, I have always been a fan of pickles and green tomato pickles have always been my favorite, I could eat them everyday, either at breakfast with bread and cheese or as a side dish for several kind of dishes like:

Beef and Pork Meatballs or Zucchini Beef Meatballs with mashed potatoes, for instance.

Polenta dishes like these Polenta and Cheese Balls with Sausages or this Moldavian Stew – Tochitura.

Pork Stew or Hungarian Beef Stew.

 

 

green tomato preserved Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

 

 

green tomatoes preserve 200x200 Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

Yield: 4-5 large jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Deliciously tangy green tomatoes pickles, a staple in the Romanian pickling repertoire.

Ingredients

  • 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 whole black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Sterilize the jars. For more information on sterilizing jars, have a look at this post.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring the water and the salt to a boil.
  4. 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.
  5. Sprinkle some mustard seeds and black peppercorns in each jar.
  6. Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid in the jars. Seal the jars very well and keep in a dark cool place.
  7. I prefer to leave the pickles for a few weeks before I start eating them. Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.
  8. See above for serving ideas.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 jar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 125 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 5298mg Carbohydrates: 28g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

 

Others you might like:

How to Make Preserved Horseradish in Vinegar

horseradish hot Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

Sweet-and-Sour Zucchini Pepper and Onion Pickles

zucchini Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

 

Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

watermelon rind jam Green Tomato Pickles with Unripe Tomatoes

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5 comments

Sissi 31/08/2017 - 16:20

Lovely pickles! I also love preserved green tomatoes (I make green tomato & chilli jelly and green tomato salad, both are delicious and I would never replace the green tomatoes with red ones; they are simply different in texture and taste and not better in these cases.
It’s funny that people think green tomatoes are poisonous!
It’s nice to see what other people preserve… I am also in the middle of preserving season 🙂

Reply
Monica 01/09/2017 - 19:27

This is so interesting. I’ve never pickled anything in my life and doing it for green tomatoes sounds like a great idea. Speaking of green tomatoes, do you ever fried them? (In the US, fried green tomatoes is a specialty in the South…we just tried them on vacation and it was sensational)!

Reply
Kate @ Framed Cooks 02/09/2017 - 13:04

Hi Adina! I usually use green tomatoes to make fried green tomatoes, but I am definitely going to give these pickled ones a try! Happy end of summer. 🙂

Reply
Evi @ greenevi 04/09/2017 - 16:57

I love pickling! Last year I also had a few unripe tomatoes at the end of summer and had to pickle them. It was only a quick pickling method, so I definitely want to try your (proper) version this year, sounds really great! Also that you pickle celeriac, such a great idea, never tried it before…

Reply
Laura Dembowski 04/09/2017 - 21:30

Nothing wrong with eating green tomatoes. Love that you turned them into pickles.

Reply

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