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

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Spicy and Sour Tomatoes

Active time:25 mins

Total time:1 hour 5 mins, plus at least 3 days’ pickling

Servings:16 (makes four 1-quart jars)

Active time:25 mins

Total time:1 hour 5 mins, plus at least 3 days’ pickling

Servings:16 (makes four 1-quart jars)

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This shelf-stable version of pickled tomatoes from food writer Anna Voloshyna’s mom relies on an herby, spicy, sweet-and-sour marinade that gives the tomatoes a vibrant flavor and appealing texture. Use a meaty, firm, plum tomato, such as Roma or similar varieties. They will readily take on flavor and retain their texture. The tomatoes can be served as an accompaniment for hearty Ukrainian stews and roasts or as a zakuska — part of the appetizing spread — for an ice-cold shot of vodka.

You’ll need a canner or very large pot in which the jars can stand upright on a rack and still be submerged by about 2 1/2 inches, a canning rack, jar lifter, four 1-quart canning jars, and corresponding rings and lids. For more details about how to process the jars and alternative equipment, read this: A step-by-step guide to water bath canning.

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Make Ahead: The canned tomatoes should sit at least 3 days before serving.

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

Where to Buy: Canning supplies are available at hardware stores, supermarkets and online.

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

In a food processor, combine the bell peppers, jalapeños, garlic and herbs, and pulse until a chunky mixture forms, about 30 seconds. You should have about 3 cups. Evenly divide among three wide-mouth, 1-quart glass canning jars with tightfitting 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 divide the brine among the jars.

Tightly pack the tomato halves into the jars; be sure to leave about 1 inch of head space between the tomatoes or liquid and the rim of the jar. Carefully clean the rims and threads of each jar with a damp towel dipped in vinegar. Tightly screw on the lids.

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

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

Let the jars rest in the canner for 10 more minutes to help prevent siphoning (when the 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 fast.

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

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

From food writer Anna Voloshyna.

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

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