Pickled Green Tomatoes

Total Time:
13 hr 18 min
45 min
12 hr 10 min
23 min

4 quarts

  • 6 Fresno chile peppers, halved lengthwise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 8 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 pounds green tomatoes
  • What you'll need:
  • 4 quart-size canning jars with lids
  • Large deep pot with lid
  • Round wire rack that fits inside the pot or clean empty tuna cans (to keep the jars from direct heat)
  • Jar lifter or tongs
  • Rubber spatula
  • Clean dish towels
  • Sterilize the jars. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water; rinse well. Place a wire rack or empty tuna cans in the pot to keep the jars from touching the bottom. Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Submerge the jars in the water and let simmer until you're ready to fill. Sterilize the lids in a separate small pot of simmering water.

  • Make the brine. Combine the chiles, bay leaves, coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mace, peppercorns, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt and 1 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove the chiles and bay leaves with a slotted spoon

  • Pack the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into wedges using a sterilized knife and cutting board. Remove the jars and lids from the simmering water with a jar lifter or tongs; fill with the tomatoes and some chiles and bay leaves

  • Fill and close. Pour the warm pickling liquid over the tomatoes in each jar, stopping 1/2 inch from the top. Slide a clean rubber spatula around the inside of each jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, then position the sterilized lids on top. Screw the lids shut, being careful not to overtighten.

  • Boil the jars. Return the pot of water to a simmer; add the jars, making sure water covers them by a few inches. Cover and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and leave them in the water for 10 minutes

  • Remove and let cool. Transfer the jars to a kitchen towel. Let sit, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. A vacuum seal will form as the jars cool

  • Label your pickles. Write the date on each jar and store for up to 1 year at room temperature; refrigerate after opening. The tomatoes will be at their prime about 3 months after canning.

  • Photograph by David A. Land

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Canning, Pickling and Preserves 101