Pickled Green Tomatoes Are A Little-Known Condiment Perfect For Summer

When you think about tomatoes, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a rich green vine full of plump red tomatoes. Or perhaps you picture one of those vine-ripened tomatoes split open on a plate with a little salt, vinegar, and fresh bread. Whatever you think of first, you're probably not thinking about green tomatoes. If you are, chances are high that they're fried. Fried green tomatoes are both a cultural touchstone and unrepentantly delicious, but they also bring so much more to the table.

Green tomatoes have a lot to offer, and that goes doubly when they're pickled. Pickled green tomatoes are everything you want your summer to be: bright, tart, fun, and exciting. You've probably never considered them a condiment, but they're the ones you want to set this summer apart. They're ideal for bringing something extra to the table, whether it's cocktail hour or a cookout.

Green tomatoes are easy to pickle and offer a lot of payoff

Green tomatoes are fleshier and less soft than their ripe red counterparts, and they tend to be a mouth-puckering level of sour. However, the texture is excellent for pickling because it holds up without softening, and delivers a nice bit of crunch. Pickled green tomatoes offer a flash of flavor to summer favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs, like a freshly updated relish. They're also incredibly easy to make at home.

Green tomatoes have a pretty mild flavor on their own, but that's what makes them perfect for a garlic and dill seasoning. Garlic and dill are traditional pickle flavors, but they work just as well for green tomatoes. For delicious garlic dill tomatoes, you'll need dill, black pepper, bay leaf, and garlic to add to your standard brining solution of salt, water, and vinegar. Of course, garlic and dill are just starting points. Feel free to play around with the brine and spices to taste. You can even add a little flavor boost with some red pepper flakes or curry powder.

Pickled green tomatoes are delicious and versatile

You don't have to take our word for it — chefs resoundingly agree that pickled green tomatoes are a great condiment. Ashley Christensen of Beasley's Chicken & Honey told the James Beard Foundation she partners them with rich fried chicken biscuits. The bold flavor of sour tomato, herbs, and brine lends a welcome companion to heavier flavors. Fried chicken sandwiches are a clear choice, but you can employ these tomatoes in many ways, from adding a slab to a burger to offering a twist on salsa verde for taco night.

Food isn't the only avenue to test drive pickled green tomatoes; They know how to show up behind the bar as well. While the traditional accessory for a Bloody Mary may be an olive or some bacon, a wheel of perfectly pickled green tomato offers an exciting and worthy twist on the classics. It's visually lovely on the edge of a glass while offering a satiating bite of tender, pickled flesh. However you want to explore, pickled green tomatoes offer a great opportunity to dress up a host of your old favorites, from a Bloody Mary to your next burger.