Photo by Getty Images/YelenaYemchuk
This recipe is a great option for preserving the bounty of fresh tomatoes from your summer garden.
- 1 pound mixed cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups)
- Sweet and Tangy Brine recipe (below)
- 2 tablespoons Bread & Butter Spice Mix (below)
- 1 small yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
- Cut a small ‘X’ in the bottom of each tomato to keep them from bursting while pickling.
- Combine the brine and spice mix in a medium-sized stainless steel pot, and bring to a simmer.
- Pack the tomatoes and onion slices into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Pour the hot brine over them, using a canning funnel and staying mindful of the headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims, and apply the lids and rings. Process in a water bath canner or steam canner for 10 minutes. Cool and check jars for lid seal.
Yields 2 pints.
Sweet and Tangy Brine Recipe
Brines have an optimal balance of acids to keep preserved pickles safe while also preventing the sourness from overpowering the fresh produce and seasonings. Use a vinegar of at least 5 percent acidity. If you like a stronger tang, replace up to 1/2 cup of the water with more vinegar. If you prefer less of a bite to your pickle, you can safely add a sweetener; start with 1 to 2 tablespoons to take the edge off. To prepare this brine, simply bring the ingredients to a simmer before use. It makes enough brine for one quart jar or two pint jars.
You can replace up to 1/2 cup of the water with brewed tea, apple cider, hard cider, beer, rum, whiskey, or bourbon.
- 1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
- Basic pickling spice, fresh ginger, fresh herbs, fresh turmeric, garlic, hot peppers, onion, and/or relish spice, to taste
Bread and Butter Spice Mix
Freshly made spice blends allow you to experience the way each individual spice mingles with the rest to create a particular flavor. Because pickling means you’re trapping produce in jars long-term to absorb brine, you should use the best spices and herbs available. This recipe yields about 1 cup. Simply combine all the spices in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds (or more yellow)
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon crushed bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons allspice berries
- 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise, optional
For more unique pickling recipes, see:
- Perfectly Piquant Pickles
- Maple Bread & Butter Cucumbers
- All-American Cucumber Relish
- Pearl Onion Pickles
- Classic Vinegar-Brined Cucumber Pickles