Canning-expert Neal McLaughlin has a sweet little operation going on at Little Dom’s in Los Angeles. McLaughlin started by canning the restaurant’s meat sauce and jams, and has expanded his operation to include homemade Sriracha, watermelon barbecue sauce, and jalapeño relish.
Little Dom’s pickled green tomatoes are particularly delicious—they’re crisp, and have heat thanks to the addition of jalapeños and crushed red pepper. “They’re very similar to bread and butter pickles, in that they’re both sweet and salty,” says McLaughlin. He puts ’em on burgers, in tartar sauce, and chops them up to make relish.
In the recipe below, McLaughlin shows you how to quick-pickle and can the green tomatoes, so you can give them to your friends and fam as gifts. If you’re too lazy to can the pickles, simply dump them into a container with the hot pickling liquid and keep them in the fridge. They’ll stay good for years.
Little Dom’s Pickled Green Tomatoes
- 5 lbs green tomatoes (sliced 1⁄4 inch)
- 2-3 medium red bell peppers (sliced paper thin)
- ½ large white onion (sliced paper thin)
- 5 jalapenos (sliced thin)
- ¾ cup salt
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
For the pickling liquid:
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
Tools (if canning):
- 7 sterilized 16-oz mason jars
- Magnetic lid lifter
- Canning tongs
- Circular canning rack
- Deep sauce pot (with a lid)
Step 1: Combine the green tomatoes, red peppers, onion, jalapeños, and salt. Top off with a layer of ice, and refrigerate the tomatoes in the salt bath for at least 2 hours (and up to 24 hours).
Step 2: After 2 hours, rinse ice and salt from tomatoes and add: yellow and brown mustard seeds, celery seeds, and crushed red pepper. Mix everything together.
Step 3: Now it’s time to get your pickling liquid ready. In a saucepan, combine: cider vinegar, water, sugar, and turmeric. Bring to a boil then shut the heat off immediately (so the vinegar doesn’t evaporate).
McLaughlin explains, “This is a very sweet pickle, so it has way more sugar than you would normally see in most pickle recipes.”
Step 4: Slowly and carefully pour the boiling liquid over tomatoes. Let cool, refrigerate for 24 hours, and your pickled green tomatoes are ready to eat.
If you’re canning the tomatoes:
Complete steps 1 through 3 above.
Fill your mason jars with the tomatoes. Pour the boiling liquid into the jars, but don’t fill them all the way up—leave a half inch of headspace at the top.
Step 2: Place the lids onto the jars and seal with the screw-on rings.
Note: There’s a special magnet tool that you can use to pick up the lids and place them on the top of the jars. This way, the bacteria from your fingers won’t get onto the lids, and into your pickles.
Step 3: Fill the sauce pot 3/4 of the way with water, and bring to a simmer. Gently place the jars into the water bath, cover the pot with a lid, and let sit for 10 minutes.
We suggest you buy canning tongs, which will facilitate getting the jars into the pot. McLaughlin says, “Regular tongs are not going to do the trick. You’re going to burn yourself, you’re going to drop something, and you’re going to swear.”