Before we moved I cleaned out the tomato plants. They were about at the end of their season, so it didn’t really make sense to move them. I got a small quart of green tomatoes off of our three Golden Nugget cherry tomato plants, so I figured that a quick pickle would be just the ticket.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough to even worry about canning for long term storage (even the small batch recipe for Pickled Green Tomatoes over at Food in Jars calls for a pound). It is however, just the right amount to put in the fridge to eat over the next week or two. How great will these be on the last grilled burgers of the summer?
I halved Marisa’s recipe, which is an excellent basic dill brine –
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon pickling salt
1 teaspoon dill seed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
The process is much the same for refrigerator pickles as it is for the canned variety. Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the dill seed and peppercorns.
Put the garlic and bay leaf at the bottom of a jar. Pack with the tomatoes – for cherry tomatoes you can just leave them whole, or cut them in half – which ever you prefer. Pour the brine over the tomatoes and put your lid and ring on the jar. Let the jar cool to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate. Consume within two weeks, but pickles are best if left for a few days to cure in the brine and develop their pickle-y goodness. And here they are –
Please note – these are not shelf-stable pickles! Even if you hear a “ping” from your jar lid because the brine is hot, that doesn’t mean these are “canned” and safe to keep for long-term storage. This recipe is definitely for a refrigerator pickle only! If you’d like to make water-bath canned pickles, the Food in Jars recipe above gives the processing instructions. The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving also has an excellent recipe.