This recipe for Ukrainian pickled tomatoes is herbaceous, spicy, sweet and sour

Spicy and tangy tomatoes

Active time:25 minutes

Total time:1 hour 5 minutes, plus at least 3 days of marinating

Servings:16 (makes four 1 liter jars)

Active time:25 minutes

Total time:1 hour 5 minutes, plus at least 3 days of marinating

Servings:16 (makes four 1 liter jars)

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This stable version of pickled tomatoes from food writer Anna Voloshyna’s mother relies on a hot, spicy, and sour marinade that gives the tomatoes a vibrant flavor and appealing texture. Use a fleshy, firm plum tomato, such as Roma or similar varieties. They will easily take on flavor and retain their texture. Tomatoes can be served as an accompaniment to hearty Ukrainian stews and roasts or as zakuska – part of the appetizing spread – for a chilled glass of vodka.

You will need a can or very large jar in which the jars can stand upright on a rack and still be submerged about 2 1/2 inches, canning rack, jar lifter, four 1 liter canning jars and rings and lids. For more details on how to deal with jars and alternative equipment, read this: A Step-by-Step Guide to Water Bath Canning.

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Get ahead: Canned tomatoes should rest for at least 3 days before serving.

Storage: Jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Or buy: Canning supplies are available at hardware stores, supermarkets, and online.

  • 2 large green bell peppers (1 pound total), cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeño peppers (4 ounces total), seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mixed herbs (about 2 ounces), such as cilantro, flat-leaf parsley and/or dill
  • 4 cups of water
  • 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, plus more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • 4 1/2 pounds small ripe plum tomatoes, such as Roma, thoroughly rinsed and halved from stem to bud

In a food processor, combine the peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and herbs, and pulse until a thick mixture forms, about 30 seconds. You should have about 3 cups. Spoon evenly into three 1-quart wide-mouth glass jars with tight-fitting lids.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and evenly distribute the brine among the jars.

Tightly wrap tomato halves in jars; be sure to leave about 1 inch of headspace between the tomatoes or liquid and the rim of the jar. Thoroughly clean the rims and threads of each jar with a damp towel soaked in vinegar. Tighten the lids tightly.

Line a baking sheet with a towel and place it near the stove.

Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover the 2 1/2 inch jars, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and place the canning rack in the pan. Carefully lower the jars into the pot. Adjust the heat to maintain a rolling boil and mix for 45 minutes.

Let the jars sit in the pot for 10 more minutes to prevent siphoning (when boiling ingredients bubble up under the lid, breaking the seal). Using canning tongs (do not use regular tongs) or a jar lifter, carefully transfer the jars to the prepared baking sheet. Do not move them for at least 12 hours.

Remove the rings and test the seal by lifting each jar by the lid. The lid should hold firmly.

Label and date sealed jars and store in a dark, cool place for at least 3 days and up to 1 year.

The ingredients are too variable for meaningful analysis.

From food writer Anna Voloshyna.

Tested by Ann Maloney; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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