Lacto-fermented green tomato olives

Green cherry tomato pickles taste very much like fermented green olives.  They have the slight bitterness of green olives and the salty flavor.  But instead of mushy olive, there is the firm resistance and juicy joy of the bite.  This is a really good way to use up the smaller, still green cherry tomatoes from your vines.

At this time of year your cherry tomato vines will be loaded with both red and green tomatoes in need of harvesting before the killing frost.  Take some of the red cherry tomatoes and ferment them into Fermented Cherry Tomato “Bombs” and take the green ones and ferment some “green tomato olives”.  Then serve them any way you’d serve regular olives.  You’ll be shocked at how much they taste like the jar of green cocktail olives with the pimento in each one.  And these “olives” don’t need to be pitted.

Green Tomato Olives recipe

Yield: 2 cups


• 2 cups of green cherry tomatoes

• 2 cups of filtered water

• 2 tsp. Himalayan salt


• Wide mouth pint jar

• Wide mouth ring that fits the jar

• Fermentools kit

• Saucer to catch the drips


Sanitize the wide mouth jar, the ring, and the components of your Fermentools kit.  Wash the green tomatoes.  Place them in the jar.  Create a brine with the water and sale and pour it over the tomatoes in the jar.  Place the weight, ensuring that the tomatoes are under the weight and that there is brine over top of the weight in the jar. Leave a 1 inch head space.

Place the Fermentools gasket, lid, the stopper, and the airlock on the jar.  Place filtered water in the airlock until it is ½ full.   Place the jar on a saucer to catch any inadvertent drips.  Then place the jar away from direct heat and sunlight for 5 to 7 days.  Since green tomatoes are firmer than ripe tomatoes, they can handle a full 7 day ferment without going mushy.

The jar will bubble and ferment.  During this time the pressure inside the airlock will rise and then drop.  Once the pressure has dropped the fermentation is complete.

Replace the Fermentools kit with a normal lid on the jar.  Store your green tomato “olives” in the fridge.  They will keep for months.

You can use the “olives” right away, but the flavor will become more complex over the next month. Use your green tomato “olives” as a pickle, as a pizza topping, or sliced in a salad with feta cheese, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and fresh, ripe tomatoes.

What are some unusual ferments you have created in your kitchen? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Fermentation and traditional ways of food preservation fascinate Chris. She has been experimenting with microbes since she bought her first San Francisco Sourdough kit in the 1970s. Her repertoire of ferments expanded to include fruit wine and herbal wine making, kombucha and kefir, cheese and dairy ferments, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as lesser known fermented fruits and vegetables. To feed her fascination, Chris recently took a university course on the Human Microbiome, and gained a new appreciation for the role that lactobacillus plays in human wellness. Chris shares her knowledge with her readers on her blog at

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