These pickled grape tomatoes are delicious! Perfect with lettuce and chunks of salty feta cheese.
While it’s impossible to pressure-can, freeze, or dry grape tomatoes so that they remain as salad-friendly as they are fresh at the height of summer, this is the next best thing to it. The gentle taste of white wine vinegar combined with the warm scent and taste of the rosemary make them very salad-friendly.
Makes 4 to 5 x half-litre (US pint) jars, depending on the size and shape of your tomatoes.
This recipe is from the Ball Blue Book.
See also: Dilled Grape Tomatoes.
Jar size choices: quarter-litre (½ US pint / 8 oz) OR half-litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz)
Processing method: Either water-bath or steam canning
Yield: 4 x half-litre (US pint) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: Either size jar 10 minutes.
Note that the sizes and shapes of the tomatoes used will affect how many go into a jar, and therefore how much pickling liquid is needed.
Grape Tomatoes in White Wine with Rosemary
- 4 sprigs rosemary (fresh)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1.25 kg grape tomatoes (2 US quarts / 2.75 lbs)
- pickling salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- 250 ml white wine vinegar (5% or higher. 1 cup / 8 oz)
- 250 ml white vinegar (5% or higher. 1 cup / 8 oz)
- 1 litre water (4 cups / 32 oz)
- Wash and snip sprigs of rosemary, set aside.
- Peel garlic, set aside.
- Wash tomatoes under cold running water, removing any stems or leaves.
- Using a small thin metal skewer, do a prick in the stem end of each tomato.
- Wash the jars you are going to use in hot water.
- Into each jar, put a clove of peeled garlic, a sprig of rosemary, ¼ teaspoon of pickling salt (OR salt sub), and ⅛th teaspoon Pickle Crisp, if using.
- Pack tomatoes in jars, leaving 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
- Combine the vinegar and water in a large microwave-safe jug or vessel on high in microwave for 10 to 12, or until it boils. When removing from microwave, beware of possible liquid surge when first moved. Or, put in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil.
- Fill jars with the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- If you are short of pickling liquid, just quickly zap some more in microwave in the same ratio as above.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath or steam canner.
- Process either size jar for 10 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
- Let stand a few weeks before opening and sampling.
The purpose of the prick is to stop the tomatoes from exploding during processing. Ball notes, though, that “Pricking tomatoes will not prevent the peels from cracking.”
To make quick work of pricking the tomatoes, just invert a meat thermometer and lightly impale the tomatoes’ stem ends on it.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
For salt substitute, non-bitter, non-clouding Herbamare Sodium-Free was used.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
Australia and New Zealand vinegar strength special notes.
- You can use either grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes should be about 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) wide or less. Grape tomatoes have a thicker skin, and tend to be firmer and less juicy than cherry tomatoes, so they are less prone to explode. If you live at an altitude where you would have to adjust processing times longer, to reduce the chance of ending up with mooshy tomatoes you may wish to stick with grape tomatoes as they start out firmer than cherry.
- Yes, leave tomatoes whole. You do not need to peel, slice or quarter them.
- The tomatoes will be a paler red after processing.
- For vinegar, you can use all white wine vinegar (5% or higher) if you wish for a subtler taste.
- This recipe uses an unusual vinegar ratio for a pickling recipe: 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. Normally to be safe you want to see at least 50% vinegar. But, think of tomatoes canned in plain water, which is essentially what this recipe is. All that’s needed to make that safe for canning is 2 tablespoons vinegar per jar. This recipe provides that, plus adds a lot more vinegar to actually give the tomatoes a pickled taste, texture and flavour.
- How many jars you get will depend how adept you are at fitting the tomatoes into the jars, and keeping them fitted in after debubbling.
- You will get some floaties in each jar, because the tomatoes are not blanched before canning to get air out of them. Using shouldered jars instead of straight-sided jars may be better: the shoulders may help to push some of the floaties down a bit.
- We used sprigs of rosemary that were about 5 cm (2 inches) each.
- In case you go over to a fifth jar, it’s best to have plans in your mind for an extra clove of garlic and sprig of rosemary.
- If you use a salt sub, you want to use a non-bitter, non-clouding one such as Herbamare.
Pickled Grape Tomatoes. In: Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 94.
- We saw no advantage to boiling the vinegar and salt for 10 minutes, as per Ball. To reduce carbon footprint and save cooking fuel costs, we simplified the procedure to heating pickling mixture in microwave, and just putting a bit of salt in each jar.
To make original recipe
- Instead of all white wine vinegar, use ½ white distilled vinegar (5% or higher) and ½ white wine vinegar (no acidity minimum specified)
- Put vinegars, water and salt in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
If you are watching your sodium intake, instead of pickling salt, you can use a ¼ teaspoon of non-bitter, non-clouding salt substitute per jar to reduce added sodium levels by 96%. We used Herbamare, as it has no bitter taste and does not cloud. Per 5 tomatoes, the regular version has 18 calories and 100 mg sodium; the sugar and salt-free version has 18 calories and just 4 mg sodium.
Nutrition info based on 25 to 30 grape / cherry tomatoes (275 g )per jar
Per 5 tomatoes
- 18 calories, 100 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 0 points per 5
No Added-salt Version
Per 5 tomatoes
- 18 calories, 4 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 0 points per 5
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.
History of this recipe
This is a relatively new recipe, for the Ball Blue Book. It did not appear in the 1999 printing. That makes sense, though. It was only in 1996 that grape tomatoes were first grown at all in North America — in Manatee County, Florida, to be precise. They were a hybrid developed in Taiwan.
I have tried and tried to do these pickled tomatoes but they end up way to soft and falling apart. The texture is awful. I give up
Can apple cider vinegar be used in place of white vinegar?
Yes, that is fine. Just make sure it’s 5% strength or higher.
Hello! Thank you for such a great recipe. I have a question: when you (&other canning recipes) talk about headspace – is that JUST for the liquid, or can nothing in the jar go past that line? I think I made a newbie mistake of underfilling my jars, but I filled my tomatoes to 1/2in headspace and after canning the jar just looks….half filled.
In this instance, that indicates the max fill for the liquid, and, no solids should be poking above the liquid. It’s not the end of the world safety wise if some stuff does, those bits will just darken prematurely if stored for a long time but it will still be safe.
I don’t have any fresh rosemary, so could I substitute basil leaves?
Yes, you could, in the same amount.
I am very new to this, so this might be a “dumb question”. How long will these last? It’s just two of us and our garden is exploding 🙂 we need to get on this! Any help is greatly appreciated!
See Shelf life: https://www.healthycanning.com/the-shelf-life-of-home-canned-goods/
This recipe looks wonderful. I’m going to try it tomorrow. Why don’t you need to sterilize the jars? I’m new to canning and keep reading conflicting advice as to how and when to sterilize.
See here for information on canning jar sterilization.
I made these. They’re fabulous. I have several jars of them. I’m looking for a recipe to use them in – besides salads.
Thanks for the tip about using the meat thermometer to prick the tomatoes. This made such fast work of them that I was able to can this on my lunch hour while working at home yesterday!
I had tons of leftover brine, so I used it to make a quick pickle of the remaining “not good enough for canning” tomatoes that I trimmed and split in half. We had those with dinner, so now I have an idea of what I can look forward to when the cans are ready.