Tomatoes, along with cucumbers, are among the most beloved vegetables in Russia, and many different methods are used to preserve them for the winter. But maybe not everyone knows that not only ripe red, yellow, orange and other multi-colored tomatoes can be saved for the winter, but also unripe, green ones.
Unlike their mature counterparts, they cannot be eaten immediately, since they still contain a high content of a toxic substance - solanine. But they are ideal for various preparations for the winter. Indeed, there are two main ways to neutralize solanine: either soak green tomatoes for several hours in salted water, or subject them to heat treatment, for example, blanching. Therefore, both the method of pouring hot brine and cold salting of green tomatoes are equally suitable so that the harvest for the winter no longer contains toxic substances at all, but, on the contrary, would delight with its taste and content of useful elements.
Many people prefer to harvest vegetables, and, in particular, green tomatoes without vinegar, rightly believing that vinegar does not always improve the taste of finished products, and besides, it may not be useful for every stomach. And there are many similar recipes, so there is always plenty to choose from.
Standard recipe for cold salting
If you seriously decide to start harvesting green tomatoes for the winter, then the simplest and most attractive way to make them involves the use of the so-called cold pickling.
Well, the taste of such a dish is in no way inferior to the famous pickles, and you can crunch them to your heart's content, unlike their soft mature counterparts.
Since the green tomatoes themselves have a rather neutral, only slightly sour taste, they willingly absorb all the aromas and flavor characteristics of the accompanying spices. That is why it is so important to use as many different herbs and spices as possible, remembering that in this case there cannot be too many spices.
Attention! Here you need to focus, first of all, on your own taste preferences, since not everyone likes certain popular spices that are usually used when salting tomatoes.
Below is a list of spices that are highly desirable to use when cold pickling green tomatoes. The quantity is indicated for approximately 10 kg of tomatoes. If some spices make you reject you, you can safely do without them.
- Dill (grass and inflorescences) - 200 g;
- Parsley - 50 g;
- Basil - 50 g;
- Celery - 50 g;
- Cilantro - 50 g;
- Marjoram -25 g;
- Tarragon (Tarhun) - 25 g;
- Savory - 25 g;
- Horseradish leaves - 4-5 pieces;
- Horseradish rhizomes - 100 g;
- Cherry leaves - 15-20 pieces;
- Black currant leaves -15-20 pieces;
- Oak leaves - 5-6 pieces;
- Laurel leaves - 5-6 pieces;
- Black peppercorns - 10-12;
- Allspice peas - 12-15;
- Garlic - 1-2 heads;
- Bitter pepper - 2 pods;
- Cloves - 5-8 pieces;
- Mustard seeds - 10 g;
- Coriander seeds - 6-8 g.
The process of cold salting itself is not complicated at all. You just need to choose a container of a suitable size, focusing on the number of green tomatoes that you have in stock.
Important! For pickling tomatoes, you can not use iron dishes, with the exception of enamel and stainless steel.
Prepared dishes must be thoroughly washed and disinfected by scalding with boiling water.
The tomatoes themselves are also well washed in several waters and dried. If you want to taste the first pickled tomatoes after a few weeks, then chop the tomatoes in several places with a fork or needle, or even cut them. In this case, they will be salted much faster, but they will be stored for a maximum of several months.
If, on the contrary, it is in your best interest for the tomatoes to be stored as long as possible until spring, then you should not damage their shell. In this case, it makes sense to try cooked tomatoes no earlier than 1.5-2 months from the moment of salting.
Lay the bottom of the cooked dish with a mixture of spices and place densely green tomatoes, sprinkling and shifting them with spices. When the dishes are almost completely filled, you can fill everything with brine. According to the recipe, the brine water must be boiled along with the salt, unless you have access to clean spring or well water. Take 70 g of salt per liter of water used. After boiling the brine, it must be cooled and filtered.
If you are using spring water, you can sprinkle the tomatoes themselves with salt and pour them on top with clean cold water. Now the tomatoes are covered with a clean cloth, and a flat container with a load is placed on top.
Advice! To prevent the tomatoes from growing moldy from above, the canvas must be sprinkled with dry mustard powder.
Pickled green tomatoes can be kept in the room for no more than 5 days. Then they must be moved to a cold place - to a cellar or basement.
New Year's salad
This recipe makes it pretty easy to make a green tomato salad for the winter without vinegar. The dish turns out to be so beautiful and delicious that it is quite worthy to be a decoration for your New Year's table.
- Green tomatoes - 6 kg;
- Green apples - 2 kg;
- Onions - 1 kg;
- Sweet bell pepper, preferably red and orange -1 kg;
- Carrots - 2 kg;
- Salt - 100 grams.
All vegetables with apples are washed and peeled from seeds. Tomatoes are cut into thin slices - they will retain their shape due to the density of unripe fruits.
Peppers and carrots are cut into strips, and apples are cut into thin half slices. All components mix well with salt in a separate bowl. Then cover them with a towel and leave them in a warm room for about 6-8 hours. You can leave it overnight.
During this time, a brine from vegetable juice is formed in the vessel. It will be used last when seaming. The next step is to prepare a large deep frying pan and cauldron. Pour two cups of any vegetable oil into it, heat and put green tomatoes, peppers, apples and carrots without brine in the oil with a slotted spoon. Pour everything on top with one glass of granulated sugar and stir. Bring to a boil.
During this time, prepare sterile jars, preferably small, about one liter. Divide the mixture of vegetables and apples into jars, cover with brine. Finally, the salad jars must be sterilized for about 20 minutes and only then rolled up.
You can store such a tomato harvest in a regular room, not necessarily in the cold.
Cold pickled tomatoes acquire a very bright and interesting taste when they are cut in various ways and stuffed with all kinds of delicious fillings.
Advice! If this seems too difficult for you, you can simply cut the tomatoes into several pieces and mix with the garlic or vegetable mixture.
When the tomatoes are tightly packed in a suitable container, they are poured with ordinary brine and placed on top of a plate or lid with a weight. In the future, everything happens approximately as in the case of the first recipe. The readiness of tomatoes can be checked within a couple of weeks after salting, so this method can be safely called accelerated.
If the previous recipe was designed mainly for the female and even the children's part of the population, then these tomatoes with garlic should suit the taste of a strong half of humanity.
So, to make a spicy green tomato snack, look for:
- 3 kg of green tomatoes;
- 2 heads of garlic;
- 3 pods of hot pepper, preferably red;
- 100 grams of celery and parsley;
- 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
- 100 grams of horseradish rhizome and several of its leaves;
- 50 grams of sugar.
To begin with, garlic, pepper, herbs, and horseradish rhizome are minced with a meat grinder. Of course, you can just chop all the vegetables and herbs finely with a knife. Mustard seeds and granulated sugar are added to them and everything is thoroughly mixed.
Tomatoes, as mentioned above, can not be cut into halves until the end, but you can simply cut into several parts. Further, the entire herbal-vegetable mixture is added to the tomatoes, and they are, as it were, smeared with it from all sides. As such, green tomatoes should stand for about an hour while the brine is preparing. This recipe uses a fairly standard concentration of brine - 50-60 grams of salt is added per 1 liter. Pour tomatoes in vegetable seasoning with cold brine and send everything, as usual, under oppression.
Using the recipes above, you are unlikely to give the abyss to unripe tomatoes, which previously could not find use. And your stock of preparations for the winter will be replenished with delicious and vitamin snacks.