Now, tomatoes are no stranger to canning; homemade pasta sauce is one of the handmade life's greatest joys, and pickled green tomatoes are delicious in that check-out-the-awesome-secret-restaurant-in-the-hidden-alley kind of way. But I've barely seen pickled cherry tomatoes register on the pickle scene, and it's a rotten shame.
The reason why a tomato pickle is so awesome is pretty much the opposite reason why you'd want to pickle anything: instead of providing a satisfying, shelf-stable snap, the heat processing and storage in liquid actually softens their skins. The end goal isn't popping these suckers as you would candy, as any wise person is wont to do in August and September. The real treat is that they're the greatest spread you'll likely add to a sandwich.
The easiest way to do a tomato pickle is to procure your favorite bread-and-butter cucumber pickle recipe and swap in cherry tomatoes, measure for measure. You could make these happen in the fridge after a day or two, or hot process them: a 15-minute water bath will suffice for releasing the jar's trapped air and creating the vacuum which keeps oxidation at bay, and the sugars and vinegar from the pickle recipe will keep the tomatoes preserved for a couple of years.
ManMade's Simple Tomato Pickle Recipe
This recipe easily halves or doubles, depending on how many tomatoes you have
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar (or more if you like them sweeter)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
Slap this stuff on slices of crusty Italian bread and add a good slice of Swiss, some salty charcuterie, and a pile of lettuce, greens, or herbs… you're well on your way to, um, Flavortown. (Or, you know, you can just slather up a piece of toast.)
The batch in the photos is from last year's tomato pickle bumper crop and I'm pretty sad it's nearly over, because this year's summer garden is doing about as well, as we say in the South, as a three-legged cat in a horse race.