I haven't eaten a pickled green tomato in at least 20 years. Growing up, I separated the delicatessens into two categories - ones that offered killer kosher pickles while you waited for your food, and ones that offered killer kosher pickles AND tomato pickles. Sadly, down here in TX, the only time I've seen a green tomato in a restaurant was a fried offering on a menu. (A confession: I thought Fried Green Tomatoes was something created for the movie.)
Last month our CSA delivered green tomatoes and I gave our share to a friend who was excited to fry them up. The following week more tomatoes came, and another friend wanted to make fried green tomatoes. (Another confession: I have actually tried fried green tomatoes and they are pretty tasty!) The CSA kept sending more green tomatoes each week, and I suddenly remembered I could make pickles out of them! That week I called dibs.
I went to my recipe I use for pickling daikon (one of Charlotte's absolute favorite things - "more pickled radish please!") which uses apple cider vinegar and a mix of pickling spices. But, after running out of vinegar and breaking a jar while processing the first batch, I went to the store to load up on plain old white vinegar and dill seed so I could follow Marisa's pickled tomato advice. Ironically, she published a post about breaking jars about 5 minutes after I had blown the bottom out of mine. Side note: I've never bought dill seed before but I *must* find something else to make with them - they smell fantastic! Side note #2: I don't actually know Marisa, but my sister does so I'm taking that license to use her first name in my post.
And, I can't believe I haven't eaten a green tomato pickle in 20 years. Yes, that is present tense. Because they guys were just jarred yesterday, so I've got to wait at least a week before breaking the seal. Just to tease me, the recorded show I chose to watch off the DVR this evening was an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate. And as I watched Michael Psilakis talk about his favorite garlicky sandwich from Katz's Deli, I paused the screen as he was about to take a bite and sure enough there were pickles AND pickled tomatoes sitting on his plate.
Green Tomato Pickles
Adapted from Food in Jars
3 lbs green tomatoes
2 C white vinegar
2 C water
2 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dill seed
10 whole garlic cloves
5 pint mason jars
1. Make brine of vinegar, water & salt. Heat to simmer and salt dissolves.
2. Wash green tomatoes and cut in wedges.
3. Sterilize jars and in each hot jar use clean hands to carefully place tomato wedges, two garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon dill seed. (Marisa added whole peppercorns and bay leaves - I intentionally omitted the bay, but complete forgot about peppercorn.)
4. Simmer lids, pour hot brine on top of tomatoes, apply warmed lids and screw on bands.
5. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
6. Remove and place on a dish towel or cooling rack. Let cool completely and ensure jars have sealed before storing in the pantry. If one doesn't seal, put it in the fridge instead.
7. Wait at least a week, or up to a year.