Here’s something super easy to do with unripe tomatoes. The classic pickling process involves preserving in a jar. However, quick pickling can achieve similar results in a skillet with some oil, salt, and vinegar. It’s super easy. This is something I usually do with slices of jalapeño peppers, or banana peppers. But with an abundance of green cherry tomatoes from my balcony garden this year, pickled green tomatoes turned out to be an excellent easy idea.
Pickled green tomatoes are awesome when incorporated as topping in any mac ‘n cheese recipe. Yesterday I piled them on some store-bought hummus and pita to enhance a mid-day snack. You can also stick with the theme of Neo-Soul Food and pile them on my Black-Eyed Pea Dip with Roasted Garlic recipe.
This growing season was brutal for tomatoes. Many of mine simply would not ripen. Or they would only ripen half way. I felt a sense of relief when I heard the same frustration on Instagram from a local home gardener in Staten Island, @plant_miss_z. Seemed like it was a New York problem until my sister in Seattle casually mentioned the same issue one day. So I’m just going to file this under another dysfunction of the year 2020.
When you’re given lemons, you make lemonade; this failed crop should be no different. On the path of optimism, I had already put an entire harvest of green tomatoes to use by making a batch of green tomato sofrito, referred to my Sofrito of the Amerian South. Making pickled green tomatoes is the next best thing to do in this situation. I learned this pickling method from watching Chef Daisy Martinez do the same with onions in her Mangu recipe when I first moved to New York in 2004. So many thanks to her!
This is so easy that an actually recipe isn’t really needed here. It’s more of a concept. Also, you can tailor it to your own personal preferences … like how much salt, how much vinegar, how much oil, what type of oil, or you can even use water instead of oil.
Here’s What to Do
- Slice your tomatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch thickness. Or, if you have really tiny baby cherry tomatoes you could probably just cut them in half.
- Heat some oil in a skillet to medium high heat. Add enough green tomatoes to make one layer. Avoid piling them too high because they all need to get even exposure to the heat surface. Making multiple batches is most successful.
- Once they’re all spread out and cooking nicely, add some salt to your own liking, plus about 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Swirl the vinegar in the pan to make sure it get distributed evenly.
- Turn the heat to medium low. Sit back, relax, and let them cook down slowly until they’re all translucent. If some of them caramelize, thats just fine – even better in my opinion. Then you’re done.