Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

The weather this Spring was weird, very wet and rainy.  There were days I didn't think it would ever quit raining.  I always look forward to Spring and seeing all the flowers pop up and I love watching things grow!  I have always wanted my own garden and one of the most romantic things any boyfriend has ever done for me was to have a truckload of dirt dropped off in their driveway all for me.  I mean, he picked out a spot and we shoveled all the dirt and he put the preen down.  What a dream boat!  The next weekend we went and got the plants.  I remember him telling me at the start of this project that the plants had to be in that night before he got home.  This was back in June.  They were.  I think he was very leary about this whole undertaking.  We ended up with a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes.  They arrived after the hot hot month July midway into August.  I had bowls and bowls full of them.  The plants grew to be eight feet high and I had to buy bamboo stakes to hold them up! The garden was a success.  It produced a ton of hungarian and green peppers as well as many many cherry tomatoes.  I am not looking forward to buying them at the store again.

Canning is another one of my pastimes.  I love seeing the results after they've processed.  I picked up the Better homes and gardens special canning issue and decided to make these Cherry tomato pickles I read about!  They are like a ketchup sunburst exploding in your mouth.  My friend Becky provided me with a rosemary plant earlier this summer and my friend Chelsea bought me a bottle of WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR for my birthday, each gift helped out with this epicurian treat!

Pickled Pear Tomatoes with Rosemary

5 Cups yellow pear cherry tomatoes, round red cherry tomatoes and I used some black japanese heirloom cherry tomatoes that I grew!
1 cup thinly sliced chipolini onions
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 cloves of garlic thinly sliced.  Bellevue Farmers market has the BEST garlic!
2 1/4 C White balsamic vinegar
3/4 C water
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp pickling salt
1 tbsp or more fresh rosemary
1 1/2  tsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Combine tomatoes, onion, red pepper flakes and garlic in a bowl.

Brine: Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, rosemary leaves, peppercorns and bayleaf in a larg heavy saucepan.  I used my dutch oven for this step.  Bring to boiling reduce heat. simmer 10 minutes and discard the bayleaf.

Pack tomato mix tightly in the jar till you can't fit another single tomato in the jar. ( I used half pint jelly jars) Pour the hot brine over tomatoes. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.   Remove air bubbles and adjust your lids. Process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes 7 half pints and they're super pretty to look at!

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