My Nan’s Green Tomato Pickles

Green tomato pickles....lets see how long they last

The memories of my Nan was not really of her being  a foodie person.  Her creative talents lay with her knitting needles instead.  However one of my most favourite food memories that I associate with her is green tomato pickles.  They are a bit of a legend in our family, something coveted and devoured at a rapid rate when they are made.  Tart and slightly spicy, they are fabulous in a cheese sandwich with a  robust and sharp cheddar, with slices of ham on a plate and some salad, served with corned beef, served with eggs for breakfast or even with my Zucchini & Sweetcorn Fritters.

This batch was my first time making this recipe and whilst I was happy with it, it was not quite the same as my memories were anticipating.  One of the things I did differently is that I was using baby tomatoes because we were cooking up our crop from the garden.  It was not quite as successful, so I would definitely suggest that standard sized tomatoes are a must to get the right texture and consistency.


  • 3 kg Green Tomatoes
  • 1 kg Brown Onions
  • 1 kg White Sugar
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp Curry Powder

    mustard and curry powder
  • 2 tbl sp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • handful of table salt
  • 2 – 3L white vinegar
  • 3 tbl sp plain flour

cut tomatoes into 1/4 pieces and place in a dish.  Sprinkle half a handful of salt over the tomatoes and leave to sit.  Slice cover the onions with the other half a handful of salt.  Allow both to stand overnight (min 12 hours).

let the cooking begin...

Put all the onions and tomatoes in a pan with enough vinegar to cover.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Mix the spices and flour in a small quantity of vinegar.  Then add the sugar and finally add this mix to the tomatoes and onions in the pot.  Cook for min of 2 hours.  When preserving make sure you have sterilised your jars/bottles in a hot oven.  If you add your mix to the hot jars and then put the clean lids on this will create a seal which means you don’t have to boil your jars.

pickles making their magic

This pickle will store very well, but I dare you to have it last long in your house once people start tasting it….  I almost had to blackmail one sister to make sure the other one got her Christmas present last year…..

Happy Cooking,


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandra says:

    Good one Leah, recipe actually originated the source of my childhood lusciouness, Auntie Marj. Sxxx


    1. leah says:

      oh cool. I thought they were something that definately had to be on our list 🙂


  2. itssrijana says:

    super easy i think as i read it come moday ill make it 🙂 thats when we have the vegetable market here thank you so much


    1. leah says:

      good luck! would love to hear the results


  3. itssrijana says:

    hey leah an i use lemon juice instead of vinegar


    1. leah says:

      I think you really do need vinegar because of the flavours needed and to preserve the tomato


      1. itssrijana says:

        thats bad my father dosent like vinegar 😦


      2. leah says:

        oh no… thats not good. I don’t know a good alternative as the pickles needs the sharpness of the vinegar. sorry


      3. itssrijana says:

        umm i think of something n thanks for the help 🙂


  4. So glad you sent the link! I’m bookmarking. Thank you so much Leah.


    1. Leah says:

      Pleasure, it really is quite an amazing jar of pickles 🙂


    2. Leah says:

      Just a quick little update to say that you’ve inspired me and I raided my brother in law’s garden on the weekend for his green tomatoes to make more pickles. Currently the smells of it cooking are wafting through the house and making me think of my Nan. Thank you 🙂


      1. That is great! I’m going to make some too. Our temps are dropping rather quickly and I know I’ll be left with dozens of green tomatoes. Sounds wonderful!


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