September 08, 2014

Ukrainian Style Pickled Tomatoes

Ukrainean style pickled tomatoes
Ukrainian style preserved tomatoes
I am feeling very excited about my blog post today :-) It is a recipe of Ukrainian style preserved tomatoes (with vinegar, sugar and salt).

Almost every mom and baba (grandma) in Ukraine makes these in summer. I have been making these Ukrainian style pickled tomatoes for three years now. My family loves them, and there is never enough for the winter.

I make these at the end of summer when I can get a bushel of really nice roma tomatoes. I got mine from a local farmer this summer.

I had my recipe written on a small piece of paper, and I was afraid to lose it. When you use a recipe once a year, it might get lost so easily. So I thought to myself: I should put it in a recipe notebook, or in a recipe box, or in a recipe-something. But the thing is - I don't have a recipe notebook or box; I look up most of my recipes online. And then I knew it - I should put it online, and then hopefully I will never lose it! :-)

So here it goes: Ukrainian Style Pickled Tomatoes

You will need:
  • Two 4 qt bowls of roma tomatoes
  • One large celery stalk
  • Two red hot peppers
  • Two garlic heads
  • White vinegar (5%)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Mustard seeds
  • Whole black pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Six large Mason jars (1.9 liter each)

1. Wash jars and lids thoroughly.

2. Wash the celery and cut it into 2" (5cm) celery sticks (leave the leaves).

 3. Wash red hot peppers and cut them into 1-1.5" (3-4 cm) pieces. Peel the garlic cloves.

4. Sterilize the jars: you can boil them (if you have a pot that is large enough) or sterilize in a dishwasher. I sterilize mine by placing them upside down in a large canning pot with a wire rack and some water. The water boils, and the steam from it sterilizes the jars. I leave them there for about 5 minutes.

5. Place the jars on your counter top and add ingredients (be careful as the jars will be very hot). I add into every jar:

Two garlic cloves
Two bay leaves
Three pieces of celery
One piece of hot pepper
And whole black peppers and mustard seeds - about this much:

Pickled tomatoes

6. Now it is time to put tomatoes into jars. I make lots of holes at the bottom of each tomato using a sharp fork so their skin doesn't crack when contacted with the boiling water. I put some more celery sticks into jars to fill in the spots between tomatoes.

7. Boil about five litres of water (I use another large pot for that - a stainless steel one) and fill the jars with boiling water (I use a measuring cup for that).

8. Let them stand and cool down for about 15 minutes and pour the water back into the empty stainless steel pot (I cover each jar with a small sifter so my spices stay inside).

Add to the water in pot:
  • 15 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons of salt
  • 24 Tablespoons of vinegar

9. Place the pot with marinade on stove top and wait until it starts to boil. Place the lids in a separate small pot and boil them to sterilize.

 10. Let the marinade boil for about 3 minutes and pour it into your jars leaving very little space (about 3 mm) on top. Take the lids out of boiling water and put them on.

 Almost done! :-)

11. Place the jars upside down in the box (or on your counter top, or on the floor) and cover them with a blanket (they have to cool down slowly).

12. Remove the blanket in about 24 hours, put the jars back right side up and store them away from sun light in a cool and dry place. 

We usually start opening them in November. They taste great with mashed potatoes and any roast meat, chicken etc. 
You have to eat them using your hands :-) 
Hold a tomato in your left hand and make a little hole in it using a fork with your right hand. Peel the skin and bite!

Pickled tomatoes


PS: Here is the recipe for marinade for two mason jars (1.9 l each):
5 Tablespoons of sugar
3 Tablespoons of salt
8 Tablespoons of vinegar


  1. My mouth is watering. Thank you.

  2. We use the same preserve here and we mix more vegetables. Lovely post, btw!


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