The inevitable part of growing your own tomatoes is that you’ll find yourself with unripe green fruit at the end of summer. If like me you’re not a chutney lover than why not try Fermented Green Tomatoes!
Fermented Green Tomatoes are unripe tomatoes that have been preserved in a mildly salty brine. With a pleasantly sour, slightly fizzy and marginally salty flavour they tastes similar to traditional pickled green tomatoes. However, unlike the vinegar pickled version, fermented tomatoes are full of probiotics much like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
You don’t need to go to the expense of buying a fermentation crock, unless you plan to ferment all manner of vegetables. They are heavy and fairly large so you have to ferment a sizeable amount. Another option is a jar with a fermentation seal, they are a good choice for small batches of fermented vegetables, and relatively inexpensive. I don’t own either of these, I simply use a jar without a seal, it works well; however, I have to ‘burp’ the jars regularly to allow the carbon dioxide that builds up to escape.
Once you have prepared the brine, they can take up to 10 days to ferment. The process couldn’t be more simple. From day 3 start tasting them, everyone likes a different level of sourness. In this instance I have added garlic, basil and peppercorns, it’s surprising how much they absorb the flavour, they really smell and taste amazingly good. Other soft herbs work well too ie. dill, thyme and bay.
I hope you give these Fermented Green Tomatoes a go, I’m certain you’ll love them.
Fermented Green Tomatoes
- 1 large jar, thoroughly washed and dried.
- 950 g unripe green tomatoes
- 900 ml tepid water
- 25 g Maldon salt or fine sea salt
- 1 chilli cut into thick slices
- 1 small bunch basil
- 3 cloves garlic bruised
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- Begin with washing the tomatoes. Cut the large ones into wedges, leave the small one whole.
- Whisk the salt into the tepid water until it dissolves. Next, fill the jar with green tomatoes, chillis, basil, garlic and peppercorns.
- Pour over the brine. Now it’s important that the tomatoes are submerged in the brine so either fill a small plastic bag with water, tie a knot and place it on the top to weigh down the tomatoes or I use a silicone stretchy lid, place it upside down in the neck of the jar and fill it with any remaining brine or fresh water. Fit the lid.
- The brine will become cloudy and a light, white film may develop after a few days on the surface, this is perfectly normal.
- Allow the tomatoes to ferment for 8-10 days in a cool dark place, such a s a larder. Once you are happy with the taste, store in the fridge. The tomatoes become marginally fizzy once they have been refrigerated. They will keep for up to 4 months.
If you’d like to consume more glut friendly bacteria then you could try this recipe for Water Kefir.