I love pickled things. Okra, cucumbers, eggs. They're great with a good light beer: I have some fond memories of the Acadia Brew Pub, chomping down on some pickled eggs from this big barrel that I think had been there since the "War of Northern Aggression" (as it was once explained to me there).
These are super easy to make and they don't require any knowledge or experience of canning (which is what I initially thought). The only thing you need are some ingredients and a little common sense.
I put this recipe together using my lowest common denominator approach: I scoured the internet for pickled tomato recipes and put together a base, then added a bit to it.
- 4 pint jars
- cherry tomatoes (enough to fill the pint jars)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar (white, apple cider, etc.)
- 3 tsp sea salt (or 4 tsp kosher salt)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1" strip of lemon peel, no pith, for each pint jar
- 1/4 tsp garlic, minced, for each pint jar
- spices (see below), 1 heaping tsp for each pint jar, about 2 Tbs total
For the spices, I used my favorite 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's in some, and a generic Italian seasoning blend in another. This is where you can get creative and come up with a spice blend that matches what you want. Make sure you have enough for a heaping teaspoon per pint jar (about two tablespoons for four pints). If you want it spicy, also add in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar.
Make sure your jars are nice and clean!
In a small saucepan, heat the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until it begins to boil, then set aside to cool while you prepare everything else. The amounts used here are enough for about four pint jars. I had to make another batch for the fifth jar I made, but it's pretty easy to make more.
Fill each jar with tomatoes, leaving a little bit of room, and tuck the lemon peel in there somewhere. Add the spices, crushed red pepper, and garlic, then pour the liquid over everything. Screw on your caps, and put them in the fridge for about a minimum of a week. They are best after two weeks.
Besides using them as a delicious garnish these are amazing in a pasta salad or in a regular salad. Don't expect anything too crisp coming out of those jars (unless you used green tomatoes), but they'll have some great flavor. It never occurred to me that a pickled cherry tomato just might make the most perfect garnish on a bloody mary, but I'm starting to think that's the case.
Now for the common sense part: remember that these aren't properly prepared for storage outside of a refrigerator, so make sure to keep them cold. They won't keep indefinitely in the fridge, so make sure to keep an eye on them and if they look or smell off, toss them.
Otherwise ... enjoy, neighbors!
PS: If you want to learn more about proper preserving, head on over to one of my new favorite blogs to read, Well Preserved!