August 25, 2010

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

When reading Tigress in a Pickle last week I saw that she made Curried Green Tomatoes.  This was in the back of my head when I hit the spice market this week.  They had a wonderful Berbere spice mix.  Having used it before in a number of dishes I thought I would give it a try for pickled tomatoes.  However I didn't go the route of green tomatoes.  I went with ripe tomatoes. I wanted something that would be a nice ingredient for soups this winter or as a side dish.  I might have also be biased by the fact that my very first ripe tomatoes from my own garden were sitting in front of me. I have a feeling that I am going to be making alot of green tomato dishes in the near future. 

Berbere spices are part of traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines.  If you don't have access to the mixture look here for a recipe. The main ingredient are chile peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, rue berries, ajwain, and fenugreek. I used whole spices for this as I wanted it to be more like pickling spices in presentation than just powder.

I placed 1 tablespoon of the spices and 1 tablespoon of salt over the tomato slices and allowed them to sitt over night.  I then placed them in a basic brine and cooked them for 10 mins. 

I had decided early on that I wanted a nice flavored vinegar out of this project as well I the amount of brine I made was much more than I need to cover the tomatoes. I was also able to roast the tomato skins to use for flavoring later.  

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

8-10 ripe tomotoes, skinned and sliced
3 T berbere spices, whole if possible
4 T Salt
4 T Sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
1 pint water

Mix 1 T of salt and berbere spices with slice tomatoes.  Leave to sit over night.  Mix remaining ingredients in a non-reactive pot.  Bring to a boil and mix until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Add sliced tomatoes and cook at a low simmer for 10 mins.  Place tomato slices in jars by holding the jar on its side to stack the slices more easily. Cover with brine and process for 10 mins for half pints; 15 for pints. 


A beautiful jar of ruby spiciness.

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