Bread & Butter Tomatoes Recipe

Pickled tomatoes are a great vehicle for salt, sweetness, and spices.

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2 pints SERVINGS


  • 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.

This recipe is a great option for preserving the bounty of fresh tomatoes from your summer garden.

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:

Tamika Adjemian is a recipe developer and Master Food Preserver. Find her on Instagram @TamikaAdjemian. This is an excerpt from her new book, Pickled to Please.

Pickled to Please

If you’ve been considering canning your own pickled products, Pickled to Please is perfect for you. Author Tamika Adjemian has put together a well-rounded collection of methods and recipes for your first foray into canning that will make it easier than ever. Intended for new and experienced home canners, this book covers food preservation methods, safety information, and teaches the “mix and match” approach that demonstrates the easy way to swap out seasonings and spices, vinegars and brines, and fruits and vegetables. Every cook will relish the tips in this cookbook, as Adjemian encourages experimentation with different flavors and combinations to find the perfect pickle. After you’ve mastered the art of pickling, the recipes included will help turn the ordinary into delicious at every meal!