Italian Marinated Green Tomatoes

So you’ve pulled your garden and you have tons of green tomatoes; what on earth do you do with them all? You could put them into brown paper bags, throw in a ripe banana and hope they ripen before they rot or you go ahead and make one of the most labour intensive and most unique antipastos I have ever tasted and continue with the tradition every fall; it’s probably nothing our readers would attempt but something to consider as to what goes into making those beautiful jars of Italian antipastos you find in specialty shops and then you just may understand and justify the price tag that comes with them.

My first experience with marinated green tomatoes was at my Italian mother in laws house, where food was plentiful and they did not waste one precious morsel from their garden.  She shined in the fall creating wonderful canned goods that would last until pretty much into late summer of the next year.  She painstakingly prepared a multitude of jars to enjoy all winter long with tasty Salami, Soppressata, Prosciutto, Capicola, fine cheeses and crusty bread and of course you can’t forget copious amounts of red wine to wash all this goodness down.


Green tomatoes




Minced garlic


Olive Oil

Sterilized canning jars/lids/rings

Optional:  fennel seeds, chili pepper flakes


egg plant ~ zucchini


In a large bowl slice green tomatoes thinly; we started with approximately 10 pounds of tomatoes and generously salted as we filled the bowl.

Once all the tomatoes are sliced, cover with plastic wrap and set in fridge for 24 hours.

Remove from fridge and place the sliced tomatoes in a large strainer and allow the liquid to drain and giving the tomatoes a gentle squeeze to remove most of the liquid.

Combine equal amounts of water and vinegar and pour over the tomatoes in a clean bowl and again set aside for 6 to 8 hours insuring the tomatoes are weighted; we used a pan and a heavy jar of beans to weigh it down.

Pour the green tomatoes into a large strainer and allow all the liquid to drain out! Now the fun begins…squeeze out virtually all of the water out of tomatoes.  We squeezed by hand and when we thought we got all the water out we placed the green tomatoes on a dish cloth and wrapped well and really wrung them out until they were almost bone dry.  (You can also use cheese cloth however; I’ve experienced tearing in the cloth in the past)

Our recipe doesn’t have any measurements due to the fact that seasoning them is a personal thing and you can adjust and balance the seasoning based on your preference.

We placed them in a large bowl tossing them gently to separate them and we added minced garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil until the perfect taste was achieved.

We sterilized our canning jars and packed in the green tomatoes and covered with oil (if the top is not covered in oil they could become moldy; the oil will preserve them). 

They can be stored in your pantry, fridge or cold cellar for months; if not years. 

They make a perfect antipasto; do scroll through our photo carousel to show you how we enjoy eating them!