Thursday, August 12, 2010

Green Tomato Pickles

Every summer I fall in love. As I work to take advantage of the bounty of summer produce, I stumble on a recipe that I can't stop thinking about and talking about, a recipe that I want to run home and make again night after night.  Last summer it was dried tomatoes, and more specifically dried tomato butter, especially with a little bit of garlic and some aleppo pepper. I think this summer's winner might be green tomato pickles.

I was looking around for a quick pickle to do for this past weekend's Supper Club, and I stumbled on this recipe in Food and Wine from the Lee Brothers. (SAT time: Lee Bros. : Paula Deen :: Chuck D. : Flavor Flav.)  Green tomatoes suck up the brine so well that people couldn't believe these had only been made earlier in the afternoon.  My only quibble with Matt and Ted was that I felt they needed more sugar, but this is probably because my tomatoes were especially tart.

If you have a mandoline, it's just insane how quick and easy this recipe is.  As long as I have a source of green tomatoes, I'll definitely have a batch of these in my fridge.

Green Tomato Pickles
from Matt and Ted Lee

3 small, green (unripe) tomatoes (12 ounces), cored
1 medium white onion
1 cup water
1 cup white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar (I upped this a lot--probably two tablespoons)

Using a mandoline, very thinly slice the green tomatoes and white onion. Layer the slices in a heatproof 4-cup measuring cup. In a small saucepan, combine the water with the vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and onion and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, then drain and serve.

NOTE: These will keep in the fridge, drained, for about two weeks. Don't try to can these, since the vinegar solution isn't acidic enough for that; if you want to can some (and you should), find a recipe specifically for canning.

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