Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes on JillHough.com
These pickles are inspired by my grandmother, who made pickled green tomatoes to serve along side meats. Their crisp texture and tart flavor are a lovely complement to all manner of roasts, braises, and grilled foods.

And they’re quick and easy to make, requiring no fancy equipment. All you need are a few spices and a quick brine. The pickles “cure” in the refrigerator. (You’ll find more ideas for saving summer’s bounty in this post about preserving.)

Makes 2 quarts

1/2 cup dill seeds
12 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
1 serrano chile, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 to 2 1/4 pounds green (unripe) tomatoes
2 cups water, ideally bottled or filtered
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Special equipment: Two 1-quart canning jars and lids

Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water. Use clean tongs to drain the jars and set them, along with the lids, on a clean kitchen towel.

Place 1/4 cup dill seeds, 6 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 chile, and 1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns in each jar. Wash the tomatoes and cut away any bad spots or bruises. Cut the smaller tomatoes in quarters and the larger ones in sixths or eights (leave any cherry tomatoes whole). Add the tomatoes to the jars, packing them tightly and leaving a 1/2- to 3/4- inch space at the top. Set aside.

In a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the tomatoes, filling the jars to 1/4 inch from the top (you may not need all of the brine). Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel, add the lids, and tighten. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 days before serving. (The tomatoes will last in the refrigerator for several months.)