Retro Green Tomato Pickles – Nan’s Recipe

Retro Green Tomato Pickles – Nan’s Recipe

What did the roast beef and cheese sandwich say to the green tomato pickles? You complete me… or maybe that’s just a line from a bad Tom Cruise movie. Anyway these green tomato pickles are so delicious. I have just finished smothering a bread roll in this spicy spread and devouring it, and believe me it really does make the sandwich complete!

Also it’s a fabulous way to use up green tomatoes that won’t ripen at the end of the growing season.

green tomato pickles

Green Tomato Pickles

There are so many traditional recipes that I remember my grandparents making when I was small. A lot of recipes were used to ensure there wouldn’t be wastage when there was a huge crop of cucumbers, or the tomatoes weren’t ripening. I have noticed a lot of these recipes just don’t seem to get made anymore!

When I was younger housewives and nana’s would making, and give away, tomato chilli jam, chutneys, pickles, cucumber relishes and jams.

This recipe is a real blast from the past. My taste buds instantly remembered this flavour from my childhood. It took me back to eating roast beef and cheese sandwiches at nan’s, with heaps of pickles and chunks of real butter and I’m sure it will do the same for you.

green tomato pickles recipe

green tomato pickles recipe

So how did I come to be sharing a recipe for Green Tomato Pickles. I had just made my Tomato Chilli Chutney from the excess tomatoes in my garden.  A friend commented that his mother made the best Green Tomato Pickles.  After talking about the pickles for a while Craig decided that it was time he should learn how to make it. He was going to engage the assistance of his mother Maureen to make his own batch of the famous recipe.

Green tomato recipes, pickles

Green tomato recipes, pickles

Retro Green Tomato Pickles

Retro Green Tomato Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1.9kgs Green Tomatoes
  • 400gms Onion
  • 9 Tbs salt
  • 900gm sugar
  • 750ml vinegar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 3 Tbs Curry powder
  • 1 Tbs Ground Turmeric

Instructions

    Day 1
  1. Wash the tomatoes, remove any stalks and dry them thoroughly.
  2. Chop the tomatoes and onions into a similar sized dice. In a large saucepan add a layer of 1/3 of the tomatoes and 1/3 of the onions, add 1/3 of the salt evenly over the layer.
  3. Continue this process until you have three layers. Cover the saucepan and leave to stand overnight. This will draw out any moisture.
  4. Day 2
  5. Drain off all the liquid from the tomato mixture.
  6. Boil a jug with hot water and pour over the tomato mixture and drain again. Do this twice to remove all the salt.
  7. Put the tomatoes on the stove and add 450ml of white vinegar. Bring the mixture to the boil cover and then cook for ten minutes using a timer.
  8. In the meantime in a bowl combine the flour, turmeric, and curry powder with the remaining 300mls vinegar until it becomes a paste. Reserve for later use.
  9. Once the tomato has boiled for ten minutes add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  10. Turn off the heat and add the paste slowly to the tomato mixture while stirring. Avoid lumps by adding the paste slowly and continuing to stir.
  11. When the paste has been fully combined, place the pickles over a low heat and simmer gently. Pickles should be cooked for another 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reached the desired consistency.
  12. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before bottling in sterilized jars.
http://www.gourmetgetaways.com.au/retro-green-tomato-pickles/

One of the really cute things about this recipe is that it was typed on nice little indexed cards in pounds! We had to convert the recipe to metric as we went.

green-tomato-pickles-recipe-Card

Green Tomato Pickles Recipe Card

As it turns out, finding 6kgs of green tomatoes isn’t that easy, but after a trip to Ricardo’s Tomatoes in Port Macquarie the vital ingredient was secured. The pickle making is a two day process so Craig’s mother kindly offered to dedicate two days to the pickling and teaching of her recipe.

green tomato pickles recipe-3

Green tomato recipes, pickles

The result of all these tomatoes would be three batches of pickles or about 18 jars!

green tomato pickles recipe-4

Green tomato recipes, pickles

I have given the recipe for a single batch which is about six jars.

green tomato pickles recipe-5

Green tomato recipes, pickles

Maureen (Craig’s mum) warned us that she would be the quality controller for this recipe. Unless the batches all past the taste test they wouldn’t be allowed out of her kitchen. We have obviously learned well under her watchful eye, because although there were differences in the spiciness of each pickle, they were all delicious.

green tomato pickles recipe-6

Cooking green tomato pickles recipe

Day 2

Draining off all the liquid from the tomato mixture.

Boil a jug with hot water and pour over the tomato mixture and drain again. Do this twice to remove all the salt.

green tomato pickles recipe-7

Put the tomatoes on the stove and add 450ml of white vinegar. Bring the mixture to the boil cover and then cook for ten minutes using a timer.

green tomato pickles recipe-8

In the meantime in a bowl combine the flour, turmeric, and curry powder with the remaining 300mls vinegar until it becomes a paste. Reserve for later use.

green tomato pickles recipe-9

When the tomato has boiled for ten minutes add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Turn off the heat and add the paste slowly to the tomato mixture while stirring.  Avoid lumps by adding the paste slowly and continuing to stir.

Once the paste has been fully combined, place the pickles over a low heat and simmer gently. Pickles should be cooked for another 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reached the desired consistency.

green tomato pickles recipe-10

So thank you so much Maureen for sharing the recipe and your time with me. These pickles are just the way my nana used to make them so I bought a jar out to my mum and my nan.

Both loved them!

 

green tomato pickles recipe-11

Retro Green Tomato Pickles Recipe

So readers, are you like me and have food memories, once you taste something it instantly triggers a time in your life?

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About Julie

Comments

  1. YUMMO

  2. Aww, look at that retro recipe card! Looks well used but has lasted through the years!

  3. Love it! 🙂 I haven’t ever had green tomatoes pickled, but generally I enjoy pickled tomatoes and would love this. Nice retro touch 😉

  4. Congrats on the Top 9! This is such an interesting recipe, thank you for sharing it!

  5. Congratulations for being Top 9 on Foodbuzz! I’ve never really had green tomatoes but this looks fantastic 🙂

  6. Thank you so much everyone for your comments! I loved the retro feel of the story and the recipe card was so cute I had to photograph it with the lime bench top. Honestly, I couldn’t have styled the shot better if I had tried 😉

    Thank you so much for sending this story to the top 9 of Food Buzz 🙂

  7. I love using green tomatoes in cooking. I actually bought a jar of green tomato pickles from up your way at Christmas. I am sure not as good as yours, but wow they are delicious.

  8. Thanks for this amazing recipe!! My husband and I made it a few days ago and the flavour is incredible!! It’s good enough on it’s own just on a dry biscuit! Thanks Again.

  9. I am so pleased that you tried the recipe and liked it too!!! Thank you so much for your feedback.

  10. Thank goodness I found this, the recipe i was following told me to soak in 2L of water and cup of salt?
    Starting again with your recipe as its looks better.

  11. Just be careful the conversion ingredients from pounds to kilograms is incorrect in the quantity of flour. The index card says 1/4 cup of flour and the ingredients list says 3/4 cup of flour. This would change the consistency of the pickles by quite a lot. Has anyone tried and found them to be very very thick?

  12. Just to clarify for readers the quantity of flour is correct at 3/4 of a cup. It wasn’t converted???

    I referred back to the original high resolution image of the recipe card and it does say 3/4 cup of flour, which is what we used. This quantity is necessary to give the right consistency to such a large quantity of pickles.

    The recipe is correct in it’s entirety and make a delicious pickle. 🙂

  13. What a great discovery of such a memorable recipe – I love old typed cards, they have such a real charm that is missing now that everything is online!

  14. The recipe looks great but I am wondering if I need to boil in a water bath after sealing to ensure that they will keep without being refrigerated? I am a novice to preserving things and have the impression that it is only with things like jam that you don’t need to do the next in the bottling process.

    • If I was going to store the pickles outside of the fridge I would ensure the jars were sterilized in a hot oven, and then once filled I would vacuum seal them using a water bath as you suggested.

  15. Many thanks Julie – I will do that

  16. This looks just like the recipe I have been handed from my dad, that he was handed from his dad.. and presumably further back that that! I have just pulled the last of the tomatoes and am about to start the dicing … right after a cup of tea!
    my pickles memory… cold corned meat and pickles on fresh white bread while fishing with my dad. Wish he was still about to taste MY pickles!

  17. Cant believe how good this is. I have had 2 people call me a liar as I packaged in pickle jars, as they didn’t believe they were mine. So Simple, fun and delicious.

    My next batch is getting a dose of jalepenos to spice it up!

  18. My dad also made this style of pickles passed down from his father and I have never tasted anything that comes close. Thanks for these wonderful memories and fantastic trip down memory lane!

  19. This recipe looks great. Am soaking my tomato and onions as I type. Just wondered if rice flour could be substituted for wheat flour for those who require gluten free? Any thoughts or ideas appreciated.. Jo

    • I am sure you could use rice or corn flour, perhaps if your using corn flour pre dissolve it in a little water first so you don’t get lumps.

  20. Hi I have a green tomato recipe from my mum who has passed away her green tomato pickles were to die for but in her recipe it states spice as well as mustard and curry I’m not sure if it would be all spice or mixed spice I hope you can help me out. Kim

    • Hi Kim,
      Thank you for your question. I would guess the spice referred to in your mums recipe would be allspice, as this tends to be used a lot in savoury dishes, chutneys and pickles. Good luck recreating her recipe. 🙂
      Julie

  21. Thanks so much – this really is a delicious recipe! Great flavour, consistency, colour and the taste – sensational!
    Hubby has had it on a bacon and egg roll and today I am having it on a cheese sanger. Really makes the dish!
    Can’t wait to make some corned beef or roast beef so I can have with these pickles.

  22. Thank you so much for this great recipe and nice, easy to follow recipe. This was my first time making pickles and I think they will make my Nanna proud!
    I used malt vinegar and a bit more onion and also added a few more spices (cayenne pepper and mustard seed powder). It turned out so well that I have been sitting here in my kitchen for the past 2 hours munching cheese crackers with copious amounts of this! Thank you!

  23. Alesah Villalon :

    This recipe is still “trending” amongst readers because it is unique, flavourful and packed with goodness! This is a star Tomato Pickles recipe. Kudos, Julie! 🙂

  24. Thanks so much for this recipe. tastes just like my partner’s favourite GT pickle (spring valley). I used 1/3 apple cider vinegar 2/3 white vinegar. Great use for the late tomato crop the warm autumn brought!

    • Fantastic, I am so pleased you enjoyed the recipe!

      • Made a batch of these Green Tomato Pickles a few years ago and last night diced and prep’d another lot. finally picked enough green tom’s!
        Made them this morning, just as good as the first batch! All a bit nostalgic as I’d been after my aunties recipe, I’d remembered from my childhood, couldn’t get me hands on it. however your recipe it exactly the flavour in my memory!!!
        Thank you

  25. Have just made a batch of green tomato pickles. They smell divine! I made a couple of changes. Added green beans, cauli and chillies. Also 2 tblsp of mustard seeds. I reduced the amt of flour to 1/2 cup.

  26. I tried this recipe w roseamary mustard seeds cinnamon and bay leaves and cloves. Excellent base recipe thankyou

  27. My niece once described a trifle I had made as a journey of flavours in my mouth !!!, such is the journey of creating and preserving from the garden you have grown

  28. OMG!
    These pickles are Beautiful! Just like Nana’s!
    I added extra flour in a panic that they wouldn’t be thick enough but all worked in the end!
    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

  29. Sandra

    THANKYOU !! for such a ‘delicious’ receipe … never having tasted green tomato pickles before .. and i’m a ‘fan’ ! i am about to make my second batch .. as ripe tomatoe relish makes my hubby sick this didn’t affect him at all he loves it .. Winner !!!!!!

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