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
- 5 tsp dill seeds I didn’t have dill so used cumin instead
- 2 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 10 dill sprigs
- 5 garlic cloves
- 8 cups cherry tomatoes hulled and pricked with a sterilized needle
- 4 cups Champagne vinegar I used apple cider vinegar instead
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 3/4 cups sugar I used organic sugar
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 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.