Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quick Fermented Tomato Halves

Already fan of fermented tomatoes? Never heard of such? In any case, try this ancient recipe of quick fermented tomatoes. Those are my favorite. Can be yours..

Blog's Category: International, My Staple Food, Snacks, USSR-era Recipes, Vegetarian


Why people shy away from fermented food? In general.. I'm not talking about those who are already "in", who once tried fermented food, such as sauerkraut, fermented tomatoes, fermented cucumbers and so on, become dedicated fan of it.

If you think about it, we already have a lot of fermented food around - yeast bread, yogurt, cheese, buttermilk. Each ethnic culture has some sort of fermented food in its cuisine. Fermented food is so beneficial for your health, and fear of getting sick of fermented food is so overrated, that, I think, we all should eat more fermented food and stores have to have more commercially produced fermented food, safe, healthy, delicious. 

Meanwhile, let's make our own fermented food! This time it is Quick Fermented Tomatoes. Just because tomatoes are cut in half before fermentation, time of fermentation is shrunk to a day or two instead of 4-5! Can't wait already?

What is it?

It is tomatoes, cut in half, and submerged into brine, along with plenty of fresh dill and garlic.

Taste Description

Briny, a bit fizzy, these tomato pieces are filled with sweet-&-sour juice. Did I mention that you can drink a brine too? Oh, you not just can, you will crave it :)

How to Serve

It's best when cold, from a fridge. While slowly continuing to ferment, even in a fridge, tomatoes will be good to eat for about month or two. Just do not forget that they should be kept in a fridge. After month or two, they over-ferment to the point of becoming way too sour. Although it practically never happened to us, as tomatoes disappeared way before this term.


- I already have a recipe of fermented tomatoes on my blog here. This recipe is very similar, it is for such impatient people as myself who wants what they want now :)

- While this recipe can be applied to any kind of tomatoes, the best sort for it is plum tomatoes.

Quick Fermented Tomato Halves

For a gallon-jar of fermented tomatoes:
  • about 6 lb of plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 liters of water
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely grated 
  • 7 black peppercorns

- Make brine by bringing water to a boil and adding salt, sugar and peppercorn to it. Set aside to cool down.

- Meanwhile, in a clean, gallon-size jar, place tomato halves, quickly smudging them with a tiny amount of grated garlic, picked by the end of the knife. Sprinkle some chopped dill on an each layer of tomatoes. Fill jar with tomato half layers, cut side up, each seasoned with garlic and dill.

- When brine has cooled down, but still warm, pour it into a jar, over your tomatoes. Cover with a lid ajar, and let it sit on a counter at room temperature for a day or two. At this point they are ready to eat. Transfer to a fridge. Keep it there all the time, fishing out your fermented tomatoes as needed. Enjoy!



Brine will become cloudy in about one day. That's how it should be. You will also notice some small bubbles on a surface. Sometimes, further in a fermentation process, thin white film may appear on a surface, it's also normal. It means that your tomatoes become more fermented and definitely has to be kept at low temperatures in a fridge. In my grandma's village in Ukraine, people were fermenting their food a lot. It's a brilliant way to preserve, for a harsh winter, all that bounty that earth can give us at a summer time. I remember my grandma had several barrels of fermented tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage in her cellar. In a middle of winter, during my rare visits to her, I liked to step into this spooky, but strangely attractive, cellar to grab some tomatoes or cucumber from a barrel with a freezing brine. I think I still remember that musty, mushroomy smell under-the-earth there, in a cellar.. So.. yes, I do remember white film on a brine surface. Closer to spring time, this film was thicker, tomatoes are more sour and fizzy. But we still, rinsing away any remaining speckles of that white residue, enjoyed our "kvasheni pomidori" (fermented tomatoes) or  "soloni ogirki" (fermented cucumbers).

When I make fermented tomatoes or cucumber, I never do a single jar. It is usually, three or foru of them (that's why we absolutely need our second fridge in a garage) :)

Aren't they beautiful Frankly, no any color-enhancing technique applied here. It is its natural wet and briny tomato beauty :)

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