Smoky Pickled Green Tomatoes with Garlic

Does anyone else feel like they need a day off just to stay on top of all of the things (ahem, produce) in their kitchen? Ah, shoulder season… wait – still? Is it still shoulder season? It must be because there are still tomatoes on my counter. It should have slowed down by now, but somehow in mid-October due to the ridiculous weather we’ve been having, I am still struggling to stuff summer in a jar. Of course the apples and pears won’t be around forever, so I can’t put them off much longer either.

In these rapid fire days, the time and effort to work through a recipe and – frankly – to actually take a non-shitty photograph is rare. So, as you might have noticed, I have been a slacker about the blog. Once things slow down and the frost comes (read: and there’s not a whole lot else to do but blog in these snowy parts) I will be back in force. I hope.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe I threw together with the last of the green tomatoes from our CSA. It’s got garlic and pimentón, and while I haven’t cracked a jar yet it smelled pretty delicious putting together. I plan to crack it open in the dead of winter with some braised-all-day roast pork or beef or chicken. Probably in a full on nor’easter while dreaming of the crazy times we call shoulder season.

Smoky Pickled Green Tomatoes with Garlic
5ish pounds green (and some pink on the inside) tomatoes
one small white onion, sliced into slivers
six cloves of garlic, chopped/sliced
smoked paprika/pimentón (The good stuff please.)
black peppercorns
bay leaves
Brine: 1.5 quarts white vinegar, 1.5 quarts water, 6 tablespoons kosher salt

First thing’s first – turn on the canner and give your jars of choice a dunk to sterilize. Because its shoulder season and the canner hasn’t left the stove – you’re already halfway there. Bring a half vinegar-half water brine to a boil in another pot. I had leftover brine with this ratio, but no matter how much I try, I always seem to have leftover brine no matter what I do. Core and chop the green tomatoes into small chunks and toss with the garlic and onions. Add them to your hot jars. Top with smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon for doubters and 1 tablespoon for true believers. By true believers – I mean people who just can’t say no to putting it in everything. Don’t worry if you’re not there yet – you will be. Top with just off the boil brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Add hot, wet lids and rings and process for 10 minutes. Enjoy in a few months, when you’ve bottled up as much of summer’s bounty in your pantry as you can and you’re finally relaxing a little. If you can ever bring yourself to relax, that is…

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