Fermented Green Tomato Pickles

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Learn how to ferment green tomatoes with this easy and quick fermentation recipe! These fermented green tomato pickles are crisp, juicy, and flavorful. Enjoy them on burgers, in sandwiches, on pizza, and in salads.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

The way I fermented these green tomatoes is different from the way I usually ferment other vegetables. I did quite a few fermented green tomato recipe tests using traditional wild fermentation techniques… and I hated all of them. When this happens in fermentation, I like to turn to a method of fermentation I came up with called wild heirloom culturing. This method employs using sauerkraut brine and apple cider vinegar to ferment fresh vegetables using wild heirloom cultures found in sauerkraut brine. It’s similar to quick pickling or refrigerator pickles, but with healthy microbes included.

This method of fermentation is more similar to yogurt fermentation than it is to sauerkraut fermentation… but here we are culturing vegetables with natural sauerkraut brine and ACV instead of using starter cultures.

Fermenting Green Tomatoes

If you’d like to stick to a true wild fermentation method for fermenting green tomatoes, be my guest. I personally don’t enjoy the taste, but if you want to decide for yourself you can! Just use a 3% total salt concentration. I highly suggest sticking to the salt ratios in our Complete Guide to Using Salt in Fermentation if you want to try wild fermenting these tomatoes.

I’ve also found that since tomatoes have such a smooth skin, and are well washed before becoming available on store shelves, they do not always contain the microorganisms necessary for a proper wild fermentation process. Conventionally grown tomatoes can also be treated with pesticides and vegetable washes that kill microorganisms, leaving the vegetables with little to no good microbes for wild fermentation to happen correctly.

The experiment may fail if using store bought tomatoes, but if you’d like to try wild fermentation for green tomatoes I suggest using this recipe:

  • 200 Grams Green Tomatoes
  • 200 Grams Water
  • 12 grams unrefined sea salt

I prefer the taste and quality of the fermented green tomatoes I made using wild heirloom culturing with our sauerkraut brine and apple cider vinegar. See the recipe below!

Fermented Tomatoes

You are welcome to test out other types of tomatoes with this recipe. Note that green tomatoes are firmer than fully ripe tomatoes that are red to orange in hue. Other types of tomatoes, or fully ripe tomatoes, may come out softer. I use this kind of fermented pickle recipe to make fermented cherry tomatoes, and I love them.

Fermented Green Tomatoes

For this recipe, you will need some naturally fermented sauerkraut brine, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of salt. We, of course, utilized some of our leftover Sauerkraut brine and regular unrefined sea salt for this recipe.

Pickled Green Tomatoes Recipe

This is a different kind of vegetable fermentation: Its more similar to pickling and culturing the tomatoes using sauerkraut brine, so you only need to ferment them for 48 hours, then place them in the fridge.

Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented tomatoes should smell pleasantly sour and similar to a pickle. Never eat anything that smells repulsive. 

Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem. 

Taste test at 48 hours: If you prefer the tomatoes to be more tart and sour, let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days before eating.

Tending Your Green Tomato Ferment

Keep your fermenting tomatoes at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F for 48 hours. Keep out of direct sunlight

How Long Should the Tomatoes Ferment?

Since this is a fermentation with added cultures from the sauerkraut brine, you should only ferment the Tomatoes at room temperature for 48 hours max. Then place the tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Do I Need to Refrigerate?

YES. After fermenting for 48 hours place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits!

Supplies You Need

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Fermented Green Tomato Pickles

Learn how to ferment green tomatoes with this easy and quick fermentation recipe! These fermented green tomato pickles are crisp, juicy, and flavorful. Enjoy them on burgers, in sandwiches, on pizza, and in salads.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation Time: 48 hours
  • Total Time: 48 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Fermented
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 200 Grams Green Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 5 Grams of Unrefined Sea Salt
  • 175 Grams of  Fermented Sauerkraut Brine
  • 75 Grams of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spices

Instructions

  1. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight, and lid)
  2. Wash your green tomatoes in cool water.
  3. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  4. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.*
  5. Add tomato slices into the bowl on your scale until the scale reads 200 grams.
  6. Remove the bowl from your scale.
  7. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 175 grams of Cultured Guru Sauerkraut Brine and 75 grams of apple cider vinegar to the jar.
  8. Add the 200 grams of tomatoes, into the mason jar.
  9. Place a small bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. weigh out 5 grams of salt. Then add the 5 grams of salt to the jar.
  10. Place your standard mason jar lid on the jar, and secure it. shake the jar vigorously for 2 minutes. (if you do not have a fermentation weight, simply stop here and place the jar in the fridge! Otherwise, move on to step 11)
  11. Remove the silver standard mason jar lid. Place your fermentation weight in the jar making sure to submerge the tomatoes and weight fully in the liquid.
  12. Secure the standard mason jar lid to the mason jar.
  13. Ferment for 48 hours.
  14. Then remove the weight, secure a standard lid to the jar, and store it in the fridge.

Notes

  • *Note: Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
  • consume within 6 months
  • this recipe works best with a 16 to 20-ounce jar. 

Keywords: tomatoes, green tomato, fermentation

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