Lacto-fermented Green Cherry Tomato Pickles

green cherry tomatoes on cutting board
Jamie Perrington/EyeEm/Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)
Ratings (32)

Green cherry tomato pickles are a tangy treat that is delicious served with cheese, or simply as an olive-like snack. This recipe has all the probiotic health benefits of lacto-fermented foods and makes great use of this end-of-the-gardening-season ingredient.

What You'll Need

  • 4 cups small green cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dill flower heads (or 3 sprigs fresh dill leaves or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4 allspice (whole)
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • Optional: 1 to 2 small hot chile peppers
  • 4 cups water (filtered as water containing chlorine or fluoride could prevent successful fermentation)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (or sea salt)

How to Make It

  1. Wash the green cherry tomatoes. Pierce each whole tomato with the tip of a sharp paring knife once or twice. Alternatively, poke each tomato several times with a sewing needle. This step ensures that the brine penetrates the tough skins of the tomatoes.
  2. Fill a clean glass quart jar with the tomatoes, adding the onion, bay, dill, mustard and celery seeds, allspice, black pepper and chile peppers as you go. It is not necessary to sterilize the jar for this recipe, just make sure that it is clean. Tuck the bay leaves and dill in between the tomatoes and the sides of the jar if you want them to show.
  1. In a separate bowl or container, add the kosher or sea salt to the water, stirring to dissolve. Pour the liquid salt brine over the other ingredients in the jar. The green cherry tomatoes need to be completely covered by the brine, and the brine should come all the way up to the rim of the jar. Save any leftover brine (you can store it in another clean jar in the refrigerator).
  2. Place the jar of green tomatoes on a small plate or saucer. Cover loosely with a canning lid. There will be some overflow (that's what the plate or saucer is for).
  3. Leave the jar out at room temperature for 5 - 7 days. Take off the lid once a day and check on the progress of your ferment. It should develop a pleasant, lightly sour scent after a few days, just like a dill cucumber pickle. Use the reserved salt brine to top up the jar should the level of the liquid dip below the top of the food.
  4. After the 5 - 7 days have passed, transfer the lacto-fermented green cherry tomato pickles to the refrigerator. You don't need to keep a saucer under them at this point. The tomatoes are ready to eat once they have fermented for a week, but will taste even more delicious if you can convince yourself to wait a full month after you move them into the refrigerator.