Recipe by Alan Leonetti

You can make your own sour tomatoes that will taste just like the ones in the Philadelphia or New York deli.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 10 -12 about 3 lbs. green tomatoes (stems removed, Tomatoes should be firm)
  • 34 cup kosher salt
  • 14 cup vinegar
  • 12 cup pickling spices (remove cloves, use Spice Bouquet Pickling Spices if available)
  • 6 -8 garlic cloves (skin removed and crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 12 teaspoon chili pepper flakes


  1. Cut away the brown area and leave a small hole in the tomatoes, which will allow the brine to penetrate into the tomatoes.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a 3 ½ quart glass jar.
  3. Put all of the spices into a large bowl and add some water to the mix. Then pour this mixture into the jar and top off with water.
  4. Place a small item (piece of plastic, wood, etc.) on top to keep the tomatoes down and under the water/brine.
  5. Close jar and turn upside down to mix all the ingredients.
  6. Open jar and place a piece of plastic wrap on the top. Use a rubber band to keep it in place. Using a kitchen knife, punch many holes in the plastic wrap in order to let some of the brine gases out.
  7. Place in a cool location for 3-4 weeks. From time to time you can remove any scum on the top and add a little salted water to top off, and shake the mixture. Then place in the refrigerator.
  8. The tomatoes are done when they change color from light green to a dull olive green.

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