Saturday, November 08, 2008

Green Tomato Pickles

With a cool snap in our air, tis likely that any tomatos still on the vine will not fully ripen this year. About a month ago, I decided to pickle a few, and today I tasted the results of my experiment.
The result? FAAAAbulous!
In a Summer edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine, a mo' simpler version of this techinque was revealed. I took the same advise, but embellished and the results are quite delicious. Joe and I are big pickle fans, so I simply saved the leftover jars (w/ the brine). Once I had gathered, washed and cut the tomatoes, I removed the empty jars from the fridge, and rather than the simple technique that Martha suggested (simply add the tomatoes to the brine and put back in the fridge), made the pickling a bit more permanent....
The pickle brine was poured into a small sauce pan and was gently heated to a simmer. While the brine heated, I removed the jar labeling and diligently washed them in very hot water. The lids were placed in another saucepan of water and brought to a simmer, as well. Before packing the tomatoes into the jars, I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the tomatoes were packed into place, the simmering brine was poured back into the packed jars of tomatoes, and the lids removed from the simmering water with a pair of tongs, and tightened into place. Within seconds, the lids had sealed, forming a vacuum and thereby preserving the green tomatoes indefinitely.
One month has passed since this experiment, allowing the flavors to infuse, and the results are quite amazing. Very crunchy... not in the least bitter, either. I even added a few tomatoes that were a bit pink, for color, and though they are indeed softer than their green siblings, they are by no means mushy, as I had feared. Now my plan will be to gather ALL of the green tomatoes still left on the vine, and concoct as close a version to Claussen pickle brine as I can. I'll also need a few more jars, lids and rings. And with a little luck, I'll be known the world over for my green tomato pickles......

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