Can you smell that? It’s the scent of summer slowly escaping us, which means right now is the perfect time to harvest your summer tomatoes. Because there’s nothing better than keeping the best season of the year alive in the cold days of winter.
What You’ll Need:
- 4 teaspoons – Fennel Seeds
- 1.5 teaspoons – Black Peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon – Aleppo Pepper
- 5 each cloves – Fresh Garlic
- 5 each – Fresh Sprigs of Thyme
- 5 each – Fresh Sprigs of Bay Leaves
- 10 each – Fresh leaves of Basil
- 10 cups – Market Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 cups – Champagne Vinegar
- 1.5 cups – Spring Water
- ¾ cup – Sugar
- 1 tablespoon – Kosher Salt
Yield 5 pints
- Sterilize 6 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water, you will use this pot to process the jars. While jars are sterilizing dry toast spices and peppercorn over medium heat for 3 min or until you cannot hold in your hands and before the pan starts to smoke. Note-you don’t want to over toast because it could add bitter note to your finished product. Remove jars from the simmer water, dry the jars on the counter. Then add 1.5 teaspoons of spice mix to each jar, 1 each clove of garlic, 1 each bay leaf, 2 each leaf of basil, 1 each sprig of thyme to each jar. Pack each jar with the washed cherry tomatoes. Note-a trick to keep the tomatoes from floating is pricking each tomato with a clean needle or cake tester. In the meantime, soak the lids in hot water to soften the rubber seal.
- In a medium sauce pan bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil. Transfer to heat proofer pitcher and let cool for 5 min, pour brine over tomatoes and leave a ½” from the rim of the jar. Gently tap to remove any air pockets, and adding more brine if necessary. Clean the rims with side towel, then tighten lids until snug but not tight.
- Finally place jars back in the pot and add enough cold water to cover about 1” above and bring water to a boil and simmer for 15 min, set timer once the water comes to a boil. After the 15 min let stand for 3 min in water and remove and cool completely on the counter. Enjoy after 1 week and for the next 8 months.
Perfect to pair with grilled fish or chicken, pureed into a vinaigrette or added to a boozy Blood Mary.
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