or scroll for handy tips and a little nostalgia.
Green Tomato Pickles are the perfect addition to a sandwich, burger, charcuterie board or ploughman’s platter. This recipe is also a great way to use up and enjoy those end-of-season unripened tomatoes.
Recipe for Green Tomato Pickles
This Green Tomato Pickles Recipe is adapted from this one I found in Nana Ling‘s prized CWA Cookery Book.
What are green tomatoes?
To start with, you’ll need green tomatoes.
Green tomatoes are just unripened ordinary tomatoes, and will be firmer to touch and quite tart to taste.
You can pick tomatoes before they are ripe, but most commonly they are harvested at the end of season when the weather turns cooler and the tomatoes won’t ripen on the vine.
This pickled green tomato recipe uses 1kg of green tomatoes and you can multiply quantities depending on how many green tomatoes you have.
If you’re also looking for ripe tomato recipes, you can find them in the Tomatoes Collection. The relish and sauce recipes are particularly popular and you can adapt the Tomato Chutney Recipe to use with green tomatoes.
Ingredients for Green Tomato Pickles
The full ingredient list for green tomato pickles includes:
- green tomatoes
- malt or cider vinegar
- mustard powder
- curry powder
- whole cloves.
How to make Green Tomato Pickles
This recipe is made over two days:
1. Day 1 – Soak vegetables overnight in brine
You start by making a brine by mixing the salt and water in a large saucepan and heating until the salt dissolves.
The tomatoes and onions are then cut into pieces about 2-3cm x 2-3cm and placed into the saucepan with the brine, covered and and left overnight.
2. Day 2 – Pickling day
The next day, place the saucepan on the stove and heat until almost boiling. Take off the heat and strain off the brine, retaining about a cup of it to mix with the dry ingredients.
Sift the flour and spices together and then make a runny paste by adding some of the retained brine.
Place the vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan and, when hot, add the flour and spice mix slowly, stirring to combine.
Add the chopped tomatoes and onion.
Bring to almost boiling point and take off heat immediately before boiling.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately.
Once cool, place into fridge.
How to store and use Green Tomato Pickles
Okay, so how long you let your pickles develop before eating them is simply a matter of taste.
Some people crack them open after a day or two while others prefer to wait at least a couple of weeks.
The pickles will last months in the fridge.
Green Tomato Pickles
- sterilised jars
- 1 kg green tomatoes
- 3 medium onions
- 1/2 cup salt
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups malt or cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3 whole cloves
- Make a brine by mixing salt and water in a large saucepan and heating until the salt dissolves. Take off heat and set aside.
- Cut up tomatoes and onions (into pieces about 2-3cm x 2-3cm). Place into saucepan with brine, cover and and leave overnight.
- The next day, place the saucepan on the stove and heat until almost boiling. Take off the heat and strain off brine, retaining about a cup of it to mix with the dry ingredients.
- Sift flour and spices together and then make a runny paste by adding some of the retained brine.
- Place vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan and, when hot, add the flour and spice paste slowly, stirring to combine.
- Add the vegetables. Bring to almost boiling point and take off heat immediately before boiling.
- Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately.
- Once cool, place into fridge.
Friday 12th of May 2023
My mother used to make the world's best green tomato mustard pickles. I have her recipe and now make pickles for my friends and family. Mother used to agonize over the sometimes scarcity of green tomatoes. Her recipe used lots of green capsicum as well as choko (chayote) as a substitute for green tomatoes. I also discovered that you cannot always obtain the required quantity of green tomatoes and experimented with other readily available green vegetables. I have used celery, leek, bok choy, firm red tomatoes (like the Roma variety) and many other semi-firm green vegetables. What I discovered would have destroyed my dear old mother. You can use almost anything to make these pickles in any mix of quantities. Its the 'sauce' mixture of curry, mustard and turmeric et al that imparts the pickle flavor to the vegetables, along with the pickling liquid of good quality wine vinegar added to the drained salted water. We have a quiet laugh at the agony mother had to go through to make our loved pickles. If only she had known that the 'sauce' was the secret, not the actual vegetables and fruit (tomatoes being a fruit). God bless her. This a very similar recipe but don't get hung up on using hard to find green tomatoes.
Friday 12th of May 2023
Hi Mick. Aww, love this story. I do love the green tomato pickles and I have a recipe for choko pickles too - seems they are becoming very popular again. Thanks for the tip and taking the time to leave your rating and feedback - I'll have to try the pickles with the assortment you suggest. Happy cooking!