Tomatoes aren’t a fruit often seen pickled. Maybe the tomato’s delicate nature or the fact that it is indeed a fruit deters us from soaking them in a vinegary brine. But last summer, a batch of pickled grapes inspired me to try pickling cherry tomatoes too. The results were so successful, I’ve been keeping pickled cherry tomatoes in the fridge all year long.
If you’re looking for a quick way to preserve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, pickling is a unique way to put them to good use.
A Small-Batch Pickle for a Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
Pickling is a fabulous way to preserve summer cherry tomatoes, but it’s also an ingenious use for less flavorful cherry tomatoes that you might find at the grocery store during winter or spring. This recipe is designed to preserve just a pint of tomatoes, but can easily be scaled up to accommodate a bumper crop.
Skewer to Flavor
The skin on a cherry tomato is a small obstacle when infusing flavor. Use a skewer to make a hole through the center of the tomato so the flavor seeps in. This also makes the tomatoes less buoyant in the pickle brine, although they will still continue to float a little.
How to Enjoy Cherry Tomatoes
Pickled cherry tomatoes are obviously excellent on salads or as part of a cheese plate. They can be halved and tossed into pasta salads, or used as a garnish for gazpacho. The brine is incredible in a bloody Mary. Try pickled tomatoes as a garnish for a martini, or just eat them straight from the fridge.
How To Pickle Cherry Tomatoes
What You Need
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 8 ounces)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
1 wide-mouth pint jar with lid, washed with hot soapy water and dried thoroughly
Canning funnel (optional)
- Prepare the tomatoes: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Use a skewer to poke a hole through each of the tomatoes.
- Add the spices to the jars: Add the garlic and peppercorns to the jar.
- Add the tomatoes: Pack the tomatoes into the jar.
- Make the pickling brine: Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the tomatoes, filling the jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
- Remove air bubbles: Gently tap the jar against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
- Tighten the lid: Place the lid over the jar and screw on the ring until tight.
- Cool and refrigerate: Let the jar cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
- Storage: These pickles are not canned and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. If you process and can the jars, they can be stored at room temperature unopened.