The amount of tomatoes I’ve harvested from my garden this year has been nothing short of astonishing. I was determined to grow enough so that I could live off tomato salads all summer long AND preserve many to enjoy throughout the winter…I’m well on my way to accomplishing this goal :)

With my San Marzanos, I’ve made a ton of slow roasted tomatoes which I spoon into big “ziploc” bags for freezer storage; I’ve also canned numerous jars of marinara sauce (I used the recipe in Marisa’s lovely new cookbook: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round).

My cherry tomato plants are much, much taller than me, and aside from eating the golfball sized red beauties straight up, I wanted an interesting way to can some of them. I was so happy when I came across this recipe for Sweet Pickled Cherry Tomatoes in The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux. This book was sent to me by the generous folks at Ten Speed Press a few months back and it’s been a constant companion in the kitchen ever since.

I love this recipe, but make sure you’re prepared for a vinegary punch of flavor: it smacks you right in the face if you’re not expecting it! I plan to add these tasty tomato bites to winter salads; they also make a nice “nosh” when friends drop by.

Sweet Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Yield: 5 pints

This is a simple yet delicious way to preserve cherry tomatoes: all you have to do is place them into jars with the herbs and spices, then pour in the brine. For a tasty vinaigrette, blend 1 cup of the tomatoes (plus their liquid) with 1 cup of olive oil.

Ingredients:

*5 teaspoons dill seeds (I didn't have dill so used cumin instead)
*2 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
*10 dill sprigs
*5 garlic cloves
*8 cups cherry tomatoes, hulled and pricked with a sterilized needle
*4 cups of Champagne vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar instead)
*1 1/4 cups water
*3/4 cups sugar (I used organic sugar)
*1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Directions:

Scald 5 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack—you will use this pot to process the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. In a dry sauté pan over medium heat, toast the dill seeds and peppercorns. Divide the spices among the jars, using about 11/2 teaspoons per jar, then add 2 sprigs dill and 1 garlic clove to each jar. Pack the tomatoes evenly among the jars. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.

In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Transfer the brine to a heat-proof pitcher and pour over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Check the jars for air pockets, adding more brine if necessary to fill in gaps. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug but not tight.

Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes (start the timer when the water reaches a boil). Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.

Reprinted with permission from The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux by Paul Virant with Kate Leahy: copyright ©2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

And now for the giveaway. The sweet canning experts at Ball have offered up a Canning Discovery Kit (which includes 3 pint jars, a canning rack, an instruction booklet and recipes) to one of my readers, along with the fabulously trustworthy Ball Blue Book of Preserving.

This is a great giveaway for those of you new to canning!

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents over 18 years of age only. This giveaway will end on Sunday August 26th, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

To enter, please leave a comment below :)

Thank you and good luck!

More ways to preserve summer tomatoes:

Five Ways to Preserve Small Tomatoes from Food in Jars
Freezing Tomatoes from The Kitchn
What To Do With 25 or 50 Pounds of Tomatoes from Mrs Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen
How to Make and Store Sun Dried Tomatoes from Healthy Green Kitchen
Peeling and Freezing Tomatoes from The Joy Kitchen