The winters in Russia are very long and cold, which leads to a short growing season, where the goal is to prepare and preserve as much food as you can for the winter. Cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and garlic are all staples of the Russian diet. They used a salty brine to preserve vegetable, such as whole tomatoes for the winter. As a kid, I hated salted tomatoes, which we usually ate with Plov. I couldn’t understand why I’d want to eat funny tasting salty tomatoes from a glass jar, when we could just buy fresh tomatoes.
Now that I’m all grown up (which is up for debate) and have a garden of my own, sometimes I have lots of ripening tomatoes that I need to do something with. This is my updated version of Canned Pickled Russian Tomatoes (солёные помидоры) which I love.
Heinz Ketchup is the perfect addition, as it has spices, sugar and vinegar in the ingredients already, adding a tangy pickled feel to the tomatoes. I love the flavour of coriander and herbs infused with the Heinz Ketchup mixture. The longer the tomato marinates in the mixture, the stronger the flavours are. The flavours after 1 month in the fridge are absolutely amazing! (if they last that long in your fridge!) The tomatoes keep their ‘just picked’ freshness, and the sauce is a perfect complement to Plov, or just mopping up the sauce with crusty bread. I can’t decide if these are salted tomatoes or pickled tomatoes, maybe they’re in between because they taste freshly picked. Keep the fresh salted pickled tomatoes refrigerated, they cannot be placed on the shelf for months at a time. I think it’s a fresher, improved version than what I grew up with, one that I now grow my tomatoes specifically for. I’ve played around with the ingredients, such as adding blanched cauliflower florets, celery or adding basil. I can’t get enough of this recipe. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Salted Pickled Fresh Tomatoes (малосольных овощей помидоры)Servings: 4-6
Time: 1 hour
- 4-5 chilli peppers to taste
- 8-10 whole peeled garlic cloves
- 2 carrots
- 1 large red bell pepper (capsicum)
- 3 black currant leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1 litre of Heinz Ketchup
- 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of salt