Russian pickled tomatoes
Pickled canned tomatoes (that are traditionally called marinated in Russia) is a very popular method of preserving the harvest. In the end of the summer, when tomatoes are plentiful, is the time to do your pickling to fill up the larder for the winter consumption. Pickled tomatoes by this recipe are mild but pungent, they are real Russian spiced pickled tomatoes with herbs. Enjoy!
The best tomatoes for pickling are rather small and firmer general varieties like Gardener’s Delight, Tiger Tom or Money Maker. If you don’t have them use Italian cooking varieties (in the pictures you can see San Marzano tomatoes from my green house). The pickling process will usually take 1 to 1.5 months but choosing small tomatoes like cherry or plum varieties you can reduce the marinating process to 2-3 weeks time.
The herbs and spices are the key to get the right result: really pungent pickled tomatoes, full of lovely flavour and oomph. Use the ingredients list below or add your favourite spices instead. Pickled tomatoes will be different time after time with different herbs and spices you add.
Russian pickled tomatoes recipe
Ingredients for 1 litre (4 cups) of brine:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 hipped table spoon fine (non-iodised) salt
- 3.5 tea spoons 5% table white vinegar
Ingredients for a 1 litre jar:
- tomatoes (as many as it will take)
- 1 bay leaf
- a pinch of dry coriander and/or dill seeds / or caraway seeds
- 10 black peppers
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 5 cloves
- 2 black current leaves (optional but traditional for Russian style pickling)
- some fresh parsley (optional)
- some fresh French tarragon (optional)
- a small horse radish leaf (optional)
- a piece of hot pepper (optional)
1. Sterilise the glass jars and lids in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Carefully pick out of the pot and sit them upside down on the clean tea towel to dry.
2. Wash your tomatoes and prickle a little hole in the stem connection point of each one with a cocktail stick.
3. Put tomatoes mixed with larger herbs into jars tightly.
4. Now you need to ESTIMATE HOW MUCH BRINE YOU NEED. Fill the jars with tomatoes with cold water to the top. Now pour the water from the jars into the measuring cup and take a notice of the volume. You will have to adjust the salt, sugar, vinegar and spices accordingly.
5. Boil the kettle and fill the packed jars with hot water for 5 minutes. The boiling water will make the tomatoe skins break, it is to be expected so don’t worry.
6. At the same time put the estimated volume of boiling water into a pot to make the pickling brine. Add salt, sugar and vinegar and mix the water with spoon until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.
7. Pour the hot water out of the packed jars. Add the rest of smaller spices into the jars (black pepper, seeds, cloves and sliced garlic) and pour the hot pickling brine in up to the very top. Immediately cover the jars with the lids tightly and turn them upside down onto the tea towel. The lids are supposed to be sucked in straight away and there should not be any leakage. If there is you will have to redo the problem jar.
8. Cover the jars with a warm blanket to keep them hot for as long as possible. Let sit over night. The next day put the jars normally into the larder or a cupboard and store the pickled tomatoes in room temperature.
See also: Russian pickled sour cabbage recipe and Pink pickled cabbage recipe (pink sauerkraut)
Is this a safe way to do tomatoes? Dont you have to put them in a water bath for safety?
You mean when the tomatoes and the marinade are already in the jars you put the jars into a boiling water to sterilise? I know some people used to do it. I don’t think is is necessary if the usual hygiene measures are taken: the jars are pre-sterilised before the tomatoes are in and the marinate is boiling hot. We recently opened a jar from the last summer and the tomatoes were perfectly fine!