Pickled Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes and pickles probably aren’t two things that are often thought of together. Green tomatoes = fried. Pretty much. I mean, what else do you do with them (of course, green tomatoes not to be confused with tomatillos which make for some excellent salsa verde, green tomatoes are literally unripe tomatoes). And pickles, well, you can honestly pickle just about anything, including green tomatoes.

So there you have it, pickled green tomatoes.

Green Tomato Pickles

Finding ways to use green tomatoes definitely developed out of necessity. Once the weather starts to cool, you may still have a few green tomatoes left in your garden. My advice? Pick them before the first frost because otherwise they are totally useless. And then turn them into some fabulous pickles.

With bourbon, mind you. Why? Why not.

Granted, the pickles do lose some of their vibrant green color after a few days in the brine, but the benefit to refrigerator pickles is they retain all their crispness. No soggy pickles, here.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

What I want to try next is fried pickled green tomatoes. Because pickled green tomatoes are awesome, and fried green tomatoes are awesome, so pickled AND fried must be mind blowing.

I had other plans for these pickles, however, along with Monday’s Peach Mustard. No peeking. You’ll just have to wait until Friday to see.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Yield: 3 pint jars

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 days

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh dill
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes, either into 1/4-inch thick slices, or halved and cut into 8-10 wedges. Divide tomatoes among 3 pint jars, packing the tomatoes tightly in each jar. Place a few slices of garlic and a few fronds of dill in each jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add bourbon.
  3. Pour brine over pickles, filling jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Make sure all of the tomatoes are fully submerged. If they start to ‘float’, wedge a few more tomato pieces in there to keep them firmly packed.
  4. Screw on jar lids and refrigerate for at least 3 days to allow pickles to fully pickle, and after that pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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39 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Ah that is such a great idea! We have no idea what to do with all of our green tomatoes from the farm at our house, but pickling–that’s a fabulous idea!

  2. Perfect for keeping the allotment glut into the winter!

  3. Green tomato pickles…you complete my sandwich : D 

  4. Love this!! I want some and can’t wait to see on Friday…!!

  5. Oh, yay!  I have plenty of green tomatoes left on my plants that will never live to see even the slightest shade of red.  What a great idea.  And bourbon?  Yes, please!

  6. great idea, you guys! I love seeing pickle recipes–thanks for sharing.

    have you heard of pickled watermelon rinds? I tried to make them once, but I followed more of a Southern canning-type recipe (lots of sugar and sweet spices) and didn’t like how they turned out. I think a spicier/more classic brine would suit the rinds well. 

    oh, and fried pickled green tomatoes: /swoon.

    • What you ended up with was like my grandmother’s watermelen preserves–more like jam.  They are good on homemade biscuits or pancakes.

  7. Delicious! Will have to try this! 

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  9. You and your boozy recipes. These sound so interesting. Want!!

  10. What an amazing combination, definitely need to try this sometime, I mean, I love pickles and I love green tomatoes, why would’t I love them combined? Beautiful photographs too!

  11. Is this what I should do with my green tomatoes, Lindsay? Fabulousness! :)

  12. Do you think this recipe could convert into shelf (canned) pickles?  Any suggestions?

  13. Aww man- I just found a green tomato in my garden today that had fallen off the plant somehow and thought “Huh…now what?”  Despite being someone who has never fried anything in her home I considered possibly looking into making some fried green tomatoes but now that I see this recipe (you had me at “bourbon”) I think this might be the winner! (but I’ll have to get a few more green tomatoes…)

  14. I was in New Orleans this past weekend, eating breakfast at a cafe that had a menu I wanted to try everything off of, and I ended up getting the breakfast sliders with a side of pickled green tomatoes! They were perfection, and so incredibly vinegary, I coughed a little. That’s my style of pickled anything. Mmmm!

  15. We have something very common in my part of the world, except we call it chow. :) In that recipe, we salt the tomatoes and let them sit overnight, and then make the pickling liquid and simmer it all together for awhile. Great stuff! :)

  16. I should try this. I have 7 tomato plants in my garden this year. I know I will need to use up  green tomatoes. 

  17. I made pickled green tomatoes 2 weeks ago and I make them every year, they are my favorite! I love how juicy it gets, I can eat it all day everyday and I LOVE how you shared this. I never tried fried green tomatoes but I should try that too!

    http://www.passionandparanoia.com

  18. I assembled these pickled tomatoes this past Sunday so they will be ready for Thanksgiving.  I couldn’t wait to sneak a taste just now and I had to restrain myself from devouring the entire jar.  They are already wonderful.  Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe and Happy Holidays! 

  19. I have made and eaten fried pickled green tomatoes(refridgerator pickles). They are wonderful, just keep in mind they are salty like fried pickles of any kind. So, don’t salt your breading or meal and flour at all. A very good side for anything savory to balance the meal out. They also are firmer than non-pickled green tomatoes when fried.

    • Oh, you can also not use these spices but instead use sugar and a couple of cinnamon sticks. You can use this type of green tomatoes as a substitute for green apples in most recipes. Yes that does include pies or fried pies. Keep in mind there is more moisture in the tomatoes than in apples and adjust accordingly(more flour and less other liquids). Makes those eating it wonder is it a kiwi apple pie or what? Tastes like a very good apple pie(the seeds make them wonder if there is another fruit involved). Just don’t tell them and they will never know it is green tomatoe.

  20. I did the fridge process with green tomatoes and cukes in the same jar w/Water, vinegar, salt, seranno pepper,  peppercorns, dill seeds, garlic ..they are to be in for a week..can’t wait to taste em

  21. Made 2 quarts, lasted 2 hours…
    Best pickled green tomato recipe I’ve tried, definitely has a nice little kick to it.

  22. I am thinking you can process this in a hot water bath to be able to give this a longer shelf life?

    • In theory, yes, but I have not tested this recipe in a canning situation. I might suggest grabbing a pickle recipe intended for canning from a trusted source like Ball’s canning cookbook and using that. Then you can be sure the acidity/ph/etc are safe for canning. :)

  23. I didn’t really like this recipe. I LOVED IT! I have to admit I made some changes. I didn’t have fresh dill so I used about a teaspoon of dried and didn’t have bourbon so I used some peach pucker schnapps. And since I didn’t have any small jars, I put the cut up tomatoes into a heavy duty plastic gallon re-closable bag inside of a small stainless steel Dutch oven just in case the hot liquid, which I let cool slightly, melted the bag when I poured it over the tomatoes and other ingredients. I also used Kosher salt and some homemade brown sugar . Oh yeah, one other thing, I like spicy, so I also added a teaspoon of wasabi powder. I let the whole thing sit in the fridge for 4 days and WOW. Now, I can just see me pickling everything under the sun. Better than the deli and those pre-packaged pickling spices my wife bought. Tried a sample at a big party the other night and everyone wanted to know who made the pickled tomatoes.

  24. The amounts of brine and number of jars listed are totally wrong!

    • Ummmmmm…..please explain. 

    • If you are going to trash the recipe as being “wrong”…..please help all of us out by giving your “correct” proportions. 

      Thank you and we can’t wait for your response!!!!!

    • How did you cut your tomatoes? The total volume and brine needed will depend largely on how the tomatoes fit in the jars and how much ‘space’ is left around them. So slices vs quarters, etc.

    • I agree with the poster and with the responder. I believe the recipe should call for 3 pint jars, not 1/2 pint jars. Perhaps it was a typo for 1/2 QT. I was able to get 4 full pints canned with the recipe, but I did pack the tomatoes quite tightly.

      And I agree with all others, it is a GREAT way to use up excess green tomatoes.

  25. LOVE canning! These look incredible!!

  26. We just use to add them to leftover pickle juice and it was awesome

  27. We have always made green tomato pickles to eat with catfish. They were always soaked in line. Can’t find a recipe telling us how much lime to use. It has green bell peppers and onions. Can you give me a recipe using lime?
    Thanks

  28. These are excellent. I left out the bourbon because I hate hard liquor and subbed a 1/2 jalapeno per jar for the red pepper flakes in a few jars because my garden has excess those too, and liked that just as much if not better. I also tried this on some ripe cherry tomatoes and half ripe (orange ish) tomato. The cherry ones were way off because the texture wasn’t right, but the orange half ripe tomato are just fine, not as crisp as strait green but not at all bad and it added color to the pallet. It has been 5 full weeks and I just finished the last of the first batch I made (I made a lot), and they lasted great and were still crisp. Making a second batch this weekend can’t wait!

  29. Has anyone ever made these without the bourbon? Do you think it will still have the good flavors?

  30. I love pickled tomatoes! These look great and so easy to make! Loving the pictures as well, you did a great job of picking aesthetically pleasing photographs to go along with the recipe. Really does a great job of aiding in the process of following the recipe when I have pictures to go with it! Thanks so much for sharing!

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