A variety of pickles have been held in high esteem and respect for a long time in Russia. These include pickled and pickled and pickled vegetables and fruits. After all, winter in our conditions is long and harsh, and initially all these delicacies were invented, first of all, in order to preserve the harvest, to prepare for the future products that were grown during a short summer period. Nowadays, when modern technologies allow you to have almost any fresh vegetables and fruits on your table all year round, the taste and useful properties of pickles come to the fore.
But for the happy owners of personal plots, the problem of processing and preserving vegetables and fruits grown by their own hands is still urgent. After all, they were grown with love and care, usually without the use of chemicals and pesticides, so the dishes obtained from them carry a special charge of energy and cannot be compared with those bought in stores. This article will focus on green tomatoes - vegetables that can certainly be found on the site of any self-respecting gardener. But it is green tomatoes that have long been salted along with cucumbers, because in their taste characteristics they are in no way inferior, and sometimes even surpass their mature, red counterparts.
Pickles and their importance for humans
For many, the differences between different types of pickles are still not very clear. In fact, everything is quite simple - pickling, salting and soaking differ mainly in the concentration of the saline solution used to preserve vegetables.
- If for the manufacture of brine water and salt are used in a proportion of at least 6-8%, and sometimes reaching 15-20% of the mass of the original vegetables, then before you is salting.
- When fermenting, as a rule, the brine is not harvested in advance, but arises itself in the process of fermentation from vegetable juice under the influence of salt. Moreover, the concentration of the latter with this method of conservation usually does not exceed 2.5 -3%.
- If the brine is prepared using a small amount of salt, no more than 1.5-2% of the weight of vegetables, and sugar is necessarily used in it, and in a concentration of 6-8%, then this method of canning is called urination.
It is clear that these days the characteristics of all three varieties of pickles are mixed. Often, for the preparation of pickled tomatoes, brine is harvested and even sugar is added to it to enhance the fermentation processes.
Nevertheless, all these methods of preservation, in which fermentation occurs naturally, without the use of artificial additives like vinegar, not only preserve food, but also give additional flavor and vitality to vegetables.
Attention! It has already been proven that there are even more vitamins and minerals in sauerkraut than in the original products.
Indeed, in these cases, the conservation itself is carried out due to the continuous maintenance of life, in this case, beneficial microorganisms.
Therefore, salted or pickled vegetables, even in small quantities, activate metabolic processes in the body, enhance its cleansing functions.
There are several ways to pickle a tomato. Recently, the so-called quick method of pickling tomatoes with hot brine has become very popular. But it is clear to everyone that when using this method, part of the vitamins, first of all, vitamin C, disappears without a trace. Cold pickling of tomatoes has existed for many centuries and has established itself as a reliable way to preserve and increase vitamins in vegetables. The only drawback of this harvesting method is that tomatoes are cooked for a rather long time, depending on the cutting method, it can take from 2-3 weeks to two months.
Therefore, it is necessary to take care of how to pickle green tomatoes for the winter in advance. The actual timing is determined, first of all, by the weather conditions. When stable cold weather approaches, all unripe tomatoes growing in the open field are removed en masse, regardless of their degree of ripeness. Even if you do not have your own plot, you can find green tomatoes on the market at a very attractive price at this time, as everyone is trying to sell them as soon as possible so as not to bother with storing vegetables.
In the old days, even poor peasants made pickled tomatoes in wooden barrels and tubs. These pickles from tomatoes were distinguished by a unique taste and aroma, and were stored due to the antiseptic properties of the tree, without spoiling, until spring. Now you can get such products too, but their price may not be affordable for everyone.
We have to use enameled or plastic dishes for harvesting tomatoes.
Attention! When using plastic containers, make sure that the plastic from which they are made is food grade, otherwise there is a risk of harm to your health.
If your plans are to create large volumes of workpieces, then cold pickling of green tomatoes is best done in a bucket. Enamel buckets are the most affordable and suitable pickling utensil available today. Under no circumstances use ordinary metal buckets, as they will oxidize the product and all vegetables will be hopelessly spoiled.
If the volume of workpieces is not very large, then it is quite possible to use small 5-liter plastic buckets.
The method itself is quite simple and even a beginner can handle it. The main thing is to thoroughly clean and prepare the necessary raw materials and utensils for the sourdough of tomatoes. Buckets are well rinsed with baking soda before use, preferably without using chemical dishwashing detergents. Before laying the tomatoes, the containers are scalded with boiling water.
The tomatoes themselves are also thoroughly washed in several waters and then dried on a clean cloth.
In order to salt green tomatoes, you need to prepare the brine in advance: stir 600-700 g of salt in 10 liters of water, boil the resulting brine and cool.
Comment! Please note that this concentration of brine is only suitable for green tomatoes. Already for brown or pink, you need to take more salt. And if you want to pickle ripe red tomatoes, then you will need up to 900 g per 10 liters of water.
A variety of seasonings are one of the most essential ingredients of the cold tomato pickling method. Indeed, in the process of long and gradual soaking with aromatic and useful substances of spices, tomatoes acquire an additional taste, thanks to which this vegetable snack is popular. In addition, it is spicy herbs such as oak, cherry and black currant leaves that significantly increase the shelf life of the workpiece.
So, for pickling tomatoes in a bucket of standard volume of 10-12 liters, you will need:
- 150 g of dill (you can use not only inflorescences, but also greens);
- 4 heads of garlic;
- Several horseradish leaves;
- 15-20 currant and cherry leaves;
- 8-10 oak leaves;
- Several stalks of tarragon, basil and savory;
- 100 g celery stalks;
- 15-20 peas of black pepper;
- A couple of pinches of red pepper.
Here are just a minimal set of spices for a delicious cold pickling of green tomatoes in a bucket. If you wish, you can supplement it to your taste with your favorite spicy herbs, for example, parsley, cilantro, thyme and others.
The further process of pickling tomatoes is very simple. Put some of the spices in the prepared bucket on the bottom, then place the tomatoes tightly in layers. If this is the first time you are salting them, you can even shake the bucket slightly to make the tomatoes tighter. Each row can also be lightly sprinkled with spices. Finally, on top, all the tomatoes should be completely covered with spicy herbs. Pour filtered and cooled brine into a bucket, place a plate with a load on top of the tomatoes and cover with a linen cloth. In this form, a bucket of tomatoes can stand at a temperature of + 20 ° C for up to 6-7 days. Then it must be rearranged to a colder place. Tomatoes will be ready 5-6 weeks after pickling starts.
Having tried to pickle tomatoes in this way once, you will understand how simple and tasty it is, and you will be able to experiment in the future, adding other spices and getting a variety of new taste sensations.