It's that time of year when one should and must prepare for winter. Back home - Romania, this is the time when people prepare food and stuff to prepare and eat during winter. One such thing, food to be but more likely vegetable garnish are this green tomatoes in salted water. When done you can eat them with mostly every food you eat - beans or any of these, cooked meat - usually fatty ones or greasy ones or you even can eat just as it is... Plus...these are great for hangovers.
It's 4th of November. Check out the last page to see the final product.
Also please visit the other instructable Pickled Cabbage.
Step 1: Materials
- green tomatoes
- celery - both parts ...leaves and root
- red beet - of you can tolerate it!
- a barrel or a big jar made of glass. My barrel has 50 litres. Can be used a plastic barrel, a wood barrel...anything that can safely store food and don't release any chemicals in contact with food, water and salt.
- salt. Coarse salt is optimal. Fine salt would do. BUT do not use iodized salt as will rotten the tomated...beside the bad taste.
For this barrel I used about 12 kg. of green tomatoes, 2 kg. of carrots and about 800 gr. of coarsed salt with 14 litres of water.
Step 2: Preparation
Select the tomatoes...You must use those green (or with the minimal red) tomatoes that aren't damaged in anyway - beaten, rotten already, cutted open. Wash thoroughly of any dirt, take of the green part where hanged on the plant (photos above).
Carrots - if available use those fresh ones or those that aren't very...woody! As always use the best one. Wash. Cut off the tips. If you use you can leave them whole or cut in half of chunk in pieces. Leaving then whole might not get them done.
Cauliflowers - use the white ones, those fresh - the white should be more toward white rather brownish. Chunk in pieces - not small but neither big. I usually rip them off instead of cutting them. After breaking smaller parts, wash.
Celery. Use the leaves as well as the root. The leaves wash them and cut a little bit of the lower parts - that one which is harder. The root - wash, peel off with a knife and cut in small pieces as you would cut an apple.
Red beet - this one is mostly for effect. Would give a reddish colour and a sweet retro taste. But it's also very yummy to eat. Just prepare it as the celery root.
After you prepared all the stuff above pass to the barrel. Wash it - if unused for a long time, with just a little bit, tiny drop of dish soap and a sponge. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. If usually used just rinse and make sure that there aren't any strange odors and any stuff that could alter all the content.
Step 3: Filling It Up...
First just put in the barrel the tomatoesn carrots, cauliflower, the pieces of root celery, the pieces of red beet...in any way, order you feel or like. After you filled the barrel - not just full but about a palm or two under the top line, under the lid, throw on top the leaves of celery.
The salted water is something like this: a good full tablespoon of salt for every litre of water. Use cold water. I add another half of tablespoon of salt every 5 litres of water. I like it just a little bit salty. Pour in the salted water as much as it takes to cover up all the tomatoes, all the stuff.
Step 4: Finishing and Sealing the Barrel!
Now...we've put in all the things, poured the salted water.
Usually, normally tomatoes on top would rise up. If this happens we must make sure the they remain under water. If else it will rotten and might ruin all the taste and the tomatoes. How do we make them stay under? Not shown in photos but...you can use a plate, porcelain or ceramic, or two sticks of wood in form of a cross - clean, nude, unscented wood or a plastic bowl you will put on top before you put the lid or seal the barrel. We've lost the lid of the barrel. If you still have it and you can screw the lid on... put a piece of plastic foil - that one for foods, or a plastic bag over and screw the lid on. This way it will be sealed. Otherwise... push down as described above the tomatoes that could rise up, seal up with a plastic bag and tie it well.
Step 5: Conclusion!
This is our final product...
Put it in a corner of your house, at room temperature, cover it with a blanket and leave it untouched for about 3 weeks. Room temperature for me - and generally I guess, is between 18° and 21° Celsius. After 3 week passed you must take the barrel to a cold place - under 15° or less...For example your basement. After 3-4 week you can eat tomatoes. By now they should have taken a reddish tint or - if you used red beet, a very red or mauve colour. Take off and seal again every time. Taking too much air makes the fungi propagate and multiplicate faster. The leaves of celery on top personally I don't eat them. Usually I throw them away when I open for the first time. Rinse before consumption. Can the water be used? Hell yeah! You can drink it - if you have hangover it will help alot or you can cook with it. It can be used to make borsch...another romanian dish, like a soup. Let me know your ideas and questions. It this will have success I will post another instructable of how to make the pickled cabbage - romanian style. Have a pleasant winter you all!
Step 6: Later Edit: It's Time to Check It Out and Start Eating.
Ok. It's 4th of November. We wanted to see if it's done and good to eat. And yes...IT'S YUMMY! And yours should be too. Now take the barrel and put in the basement or in a real (not too) cold place and keep it for the winter. From week to week give it a blow to the brine with a tube. It helps our green tomatoes not to get strange odour and taste (something like rotten taste).
The photo you see, the plate on the right it's a dish called "peasant's fries". It's potatoes cut in slices, a little bit thicker than the usual french fries, all dropped into a pot and fried with a small quantity (3-4 tablespoons) of oil. You put a lid on it and from time to time you give it a stir. You can break it 2-3 eggs if you like. When done put into a dish and add pepper and a few scratches of Parmeggiano.
And eat with green pickled tomatoes. Enjoy!