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In the summer, the vegetable plants in the garden compete to see which of them can deliver the greatest yield. If the weather is dry and sunny, the tomato plant is at the forefront. Now it's time: Don't waste any red fruit and turn the surplus harvest into pickled tomatoes.

Tomatoes can be pickled fresh or dried

Fresh fruit or dried pieces?

For pickled tomatoes, fresh tomatoes are used and refined with all sorts of other ingredients. But the aroma of dried tomatoes also gains from pickling. These two variants of pickled tomatoes are two different culinary worlds, even if the tomato taste unites them. You decide which variant you like more or simply choose both.

quality of tomato fruit

Tomato varieties with a lot of flesh and few seeds, such as roma and beefsteak tomatoes, are ideal for pickling. Cherry tomatoes and cocktail tomatoes are also made for the glass due to their small size. All tomato varieties should be ripe so that the flavor intensity is right. However, soft fruits are less suitable and should rather be consumed promptly. Damaged and rotten tomatoes should also not be processed.

You can make dried tomatoes yourself from fresh fruit or buy them in the supermarket. Pay attention to good initial quality, which you can recognize by the following characteristics:

  • the fruits have dried in the sun
  • the red coloring is intense
  • there are no stalks and only a few cores available
  • they are not salty

Clean mason jars

Jars with rubber sealing rings or jars with twist-off lids are used for pickled tomatoes. While the glasses are used again and again, the rubber sealing rings should always be replaced, as they usually do not close well the second time. Twist-off lids can be reused if they are not rusted or bent.

In order to reduce the risk of mold formation, the glasses should not only be cleaned in the dishwasher, but also sterilized afterwards. They are either boiled in water or placed in the oven at 140 degrees Celsius. For both methods, 10 minutes is enough to kill harmful germs.

Bathing in vinegar and olive oil

Most recipes for pickled tomatoes are based on a good olive oil, which optimally accompanies the fruit's taste, or vinegar as an aromatic, natural preservative.

Don't skimp on olive oil, as the ripe tomato flavor benefits from good olive oil. Ideally, a native variety accompanies the tomatoes in the glass.

Hot vinegar stock is often used for the small cocktail tomatoes, as well as for cherry tomatoes. Wine vinegar is a particularly mild and fine variety. It is diluted with the same amount of water and only needs a little salt as an addition. But other ingredients such as chillies, herbs and spices can also give the pickled tomatoes a bit of their flavor.

Prepare tomatoes

Germs stick not only to glasses, but also to tomatoes and should be killed before inserting. This creates boiling water, requiring the tomatoes to soak in a hot bath for a few minutes. They are then cleaned, dried and pricked several times with a toothpick so that the brew can penetrate better into the inside of the tomatoes.

The further procedure depends on the recipe used.

Recipe: tomatoes in olive oil

Pickling tomatoes in oil does not require precisely weighed amounts to be successful. Just enough tomatoes are provided to fill the prepared glasses. This also applies to the oil. In addition to tomatoes, the following ingredients can also provide an aromatic taste:

  • chili peppers
  • basil leaves
  • rosemary needles
  • sprigs of thyme
  • garlic
  • etc.

The more intense an herb, the less must be added per glass. However, herbs are still a matter of taste and are dosed individually. Garlic in particular is an ingredient that not everyone likes in large quantities.


  1. Layer the tomatoes in the jar, adding a few of the herbs in between. Do not fill the glass all the way to the brim.
  2. Fill the jar with olive oil, leaving about 15mm empty. The tomatoes should be completely floating in the oil.
  3. Close the jar tightly and put it in a dark and cool place.
  4. Let pickled tomatoes sit for about two weeks before putting them on the menu.


The temperature in the refrigerator is far too cold for the olive oil, it becomes cloudy and solid. It is better to keep the jars in a cool pantry or cellar.


The shelf life of pickled tomatoes can vary depending on the recipe and the tomatoes. Therefore, please note the relevant information. Sun-dried tomatoes can be preserved for up to a year. Tomatoes in oil should be used within weeks. Opened glasses should always be stored in a cool place and used up as soon as possible.

If the oil goes rancid or the tomatoes have an unpleasant taste, it's best to stop eating and discard the tomatoes.

Conclusion for fast readers:

  • Suitable varieties: Fresh tomatoes with lots of flesh and few seeds, such as roma and beefsteak tomatoes
  • Suitable varieties: Small cocktail tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are also ideal for the glass
  • Quality: Use ripe tomatoes with an intense taste, but not too soft or damaged ones
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: They are also suitable for pickling; can be dried by yourself or purchased
  • Quality features: Sun-ripened; intense red; no stem ends and few seeds; without salt
  • Preserving jars: Cleaned jars or twist-off jars with new sealing rings or flawless lids
  • Sterilize: put jars in the oven at 140 degrees for 10 minutes or in boiling water
  • Stock: Tomato recipes are based on oil or vinegar stock and the addition of herbs and spices
  • Olive oil: choose good quality; extra virgin olive oil brings out the tomato flavor best
  • Vinegar brew: Wine vinegar is ideal for hot brews; is diluted with water and refined with other ingredients
  • Preparation: Place fruits in boiling water for a few minutes; then clean, dry and prick
  • Recipe with Oil: No need for exact amounts; just enough tomatoes and olive oil for the glasses provided
  • Herbs: Depending on your preference: thyme, rosemary needles, basil leaves, chilies or garlic
  • Step 1: Layer all the ingredients in the jar and cover with oil
  • Step 2: Tightly closed jar, leave cool and dry for 2 weeks.
  • Tip: refrigerator temperature causes the olive oil to solidify; prefer to choose another cool place
  • Shelf Life: Depends on the recipe; dried tomatoes in oil up to 1 year; consume fresh tomatoes faster

The garden journal freshness ABC

How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible?

The garden journal freshness ABC as a poster:

  • as a free PDF file to print out yourself

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