This recipe is from one of my favorite canning books—Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It is found on page 319.
I made this recipe for the first time last year just before frost took the rest of the tomatoes. I’ll confess that the main reason that I made it was that it would be inexpensive enough to dump if they tasted awful. To the contrary, they turned out to be one of my favorite canning recipes. They were a huge hit as Christmas gifts, and my cousin even described them as a “delicacy”. Since he’s not one to gush over things or people, I took this as a major compliment.
Dilled Green Tomatoes (Makes 6-8 pint jars)
Note that this recipe has a little wiggle room in it. Normally I recommend going by a recipe exactly, but if you’d rather use apple cider vinegar rather than white you can.
3 1/2 cups vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
5 lbs small, firm green tomatoes, halved or quartered or green cherry tomatoes
6-7 cloves of garlic
6-7 heads fresh dill (or 1/4 cup dill seeds or dried dill weed). Note—I used dill seeds
6-7 bay leaves Note—if you have smaller leaves, you can always add more
I am not copying the recipe exactly. Here’s my version.
Prepare canner, jars and lids. Clean, core, and quarter or half the green tomatoes. Set them aside. In each pint jar add 1 large bay leaf (or a couple of small ones) and either a head of fresh dill or 2 teaspoons either dill seeds or dill weed to each pint jar. Add 1 clove garlic (or a couple of small ones) to each pint jar. Pack the tomatoes in the jar. Heat the vinegar, water, and salt mixture to boil. Ladle the hot liquid over the tomatoes. Remove any air bubbles and top off the liquid to reach the 1/2 inch headspace mark. Wipe rim. Screw on lid and band to fingertip tight resistance. Add to your canner of boiling water and process covered for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove the canner lid and turn off the heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and let cool on the counter. If any jars do not seal, put them in the fridge and use them within the next couple of months.
As with any pickle, it is best to wait about 3 weeks before trying them so that the flavors meld. I know that they sound weird, but they are quite good.