This recipe is for pickled tomatoes and, well, pickles. According to my husband, who lived in St Petersburg for several years, they are enjoyed by Russians with a shot of vodka, a slice of buttered dark rye bread (similar to pumpernickel) with caviar on top. They are really tasty and addictive. I used to get them at the Russian/European deli, but they are so easy, I just make them myself. And now our favorite source has closed up shop. There’s a similar deli across the street, but its not nearly as large or as good anyway.
Russian Tomatoes and Gherkins
- 14 tomatoes (tomatoes on the vine or plum tomatoes are best)
- 10 small cucumbers
- 1 long pepper or 3 pepperoncini peppers
- 4 garlic cloves, whole peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 bunch dill weed
- 1 tablespoon celery leaves
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Wash the tomatoes and gherkins and place them in a large, heavy glass jar with a lid. Add the long pepper, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, dill, and celery leaves.
In a saucepan, heat water, salt, sugar, and vinegar until it boils. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and gherkins. The brine should cover everything, if not add more hot water. Place the lid on the jar, but do not tighten.
Place jar in a warm place for 3 or 4 days, then refrigerate.