Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pickled green tomatoes

For years, when you stopped in for lunch at Jerry's Deli in L.A. the waiter automatically dropped a plate of pickles on your table while you perused the menu. Scrumptious, crunchy, mouth watering you-can't-eat-just-one green tomato and dill pickles. That tradition has fallen by the economic wayside (they still serve them at some places, but you have to ask first.) I crave that piquant flavor often. So, with the garden overflowing with tomatoes I decided to embark on a green tomato pickling expedition.

I picked about 8 green tomatoes to start, and some single cloves of my take-no-prisoners garlic (hot!!!). The garlic is so hot, in fact, I don't need a chili for heat. Now this is by no means the be all and end all of recipes. It's something I have flung together and have not yet seen what happens. So be forewarned.

I went to my herb garden for some fresh dill and the tarragon next to it, called out to me. "Take me, take me too." So I did.

While I sterilized the jars in the pressure canner, I prepared the brine.
2 1/2 cups of vinegar
1/4 cup sea salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 heaping teaspoon sugar
pickling spice
bay leaf
(I wasn't sure about the sugar, but went for it)

Here's the brine starting to boil. While the brine cooked and the mysterious flavor alchemy did its magic, I shoved tomatoes into the hot sterilized jars. Adding one sprig of fresh dill to each jar.

Then I poured the hot brine over them. Sealed the jars and processed them in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes.

The final result...

I'll report back on the flavor profile in a week or so.

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