green tomato pickles/relish/mincemeat
I've got a huge surplus of green tomatoes and I'd like to make a pickle or relish etc.. I've looked online and in retro cookbooks, but there's such a huge variety of recipes I don't know where to start. One thing I'm incredibly put off by is the huge amount of sugar that's called for in almost all the recipes I've seen. Why do these recipes require so much sugar? I'm looking for one with little or no sugar; the more sour and savory the better. Thanks in advance.
For sour dill tomatoes you don't need any sugar at all. I make a dozen quarts of these every year; they keep for at least a year, refrigerated.
Make a brine of 3 cups white vinegar, 3 gallons of water and 2 1/4 cups of Diamond Kosher salt. Other Kosher salts will be different as their grain size is different; if you were using Morton's, you use about 1 5/8 cups. Bring this to a boil and then let it cool.
Meanwhile, wash your green tomatoes well, quarter them and put them in wide-mouth quart canning jars with a couple of cloves of garlic in each jar, along with 2-4 dill weed heads, the kind with the seeds if you can find them this time of year. If not, use about 1/2 tsp of dill seed and a sprig or two of fresh baby dill. Also throw into each jar about a tbsp of your choice of Pickling spice and a dried red chili pepper or two, along with about 1/2 tsp each of black peppercorns, mustard seed and coriander seed. Fill with the brine to the brim, cap off and let sit in a cool shady place for about a week, flipping the jar over every day. The brine will get cloudy; you want this. After about a week, stick them in the fridge. They will stay crunchy, as I said, for at least a year in the fridge.
Alternatively, you could do this as one big batch in a food-safe crock or bucket and jar them after fermentation like regular pickles.
Your tomatoes must be very green or even white; if they have the slightest blush of orange they will turn to mush.
These are real NY-Kosher deli style sour dill tomatoes, full of crunch and flavor and no sugar.
Note: some commercial Pickling Spices have a lot of sweet spices in them like cloves and cinnamon and the like, so be sure to pick one you like in this regard. I make my own that doesn't have anything sweet in it.