8 October 2015

Pickled green tomatoes

By early to mid October, as temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, tomatoes grown outside stop ripening. At this point it is best to pick all the remaining fruit on the plants. There are always a lot of unripe green tomatoes that need using. Last year I wrote about making green tomato chutney, one of the classic ways of using green tomatoes. This year, I thought I would also experiment with pickling green tomatoes whole. Pickles are prominent in Turkish cuisine, and a bowl of mixed pickles, or tursu, often appears in a meze spread. I have a lovely Turkish grocers round the corner, which sells a wide range of Turkish pickles. Earlier this year I bought a jar of pickled green tomatoes. They were delicious, and inspired me to have a go at making my own pickled green tomatoes. Pickled green tomatoes have a fresh clean flavour and crunchy texture, and can be added to a meze spread, but are also delicious with cheese and cured meats.


approx 1.5kg green tomatoes
1l cider vinegar
500ml water
3tbsp salt
5-6 whole green chillies
whole black peppercorns
mustard seeds

Because of the size of the tomatoes, I use relatively large jars: 0.75 or 0.5l preserving jars, or 660ml pickled cucumber jars are ideal. For the amounts shown in the recipe, you will need five such jars. 

Start by sterilising the jars.

Pour the vinegar, water and salt into a pan, and heat to a simmering point, making sure that the salt has fully dissolved. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, pick any remaining stems off the tomatoes, discard any fruit that are damaged, and wash the remaining tomatoes in cold water. Allow to drain in a colander.

When the vinegar has cooled so that it is merely luke warm, pack the tomatoes into the sterilised jars. Add a green chilli, a couple of peppercorns and some mustard seeds to each jar. Pour over the vinegar until all the tomatoes are covered then seal.

Keep the tomatoes in a cool dark place for about two to three weeks before opening. Once opened, keep them in the fridge. In sealed jars, they should keep for many months.

Pickled green tomatoes

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