Quick pickled tomatillos

Spicy brine makes for a tasty and versatile pickle!

I have to confess I had limited experience with tomatillos before they arrived in this month’s Farmers’ Feast challenge basket from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. I’d only ever purchased them to make a terrific salsa verde, but I knew their tart, tasty properties would make them ideal for so many other purposes. I was pretty excited about this grilled corn salsa I’d made with them, but I wanted to use the rest of the tomatillos for something special. I’ve long been a fan of pickling and suspected that tomatillos would take on a tangy brine just beautifully… and it proved to be a great experiment. I’ll be making a few more jars very soon; like all ‘refrigerator pickles’, they’re really fast and easy because you don’t need to process them in a hot water bath for shelf storage.


  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) tomatillos (about 5 – 6)
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1/2 hot pepper, cut in strips (remove some of the seeds to reduce spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) crushed coriander seed
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) white sugar
  • 3 ice cubes (or 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water)


  • Peel papery husks off tomatillos and rinse them under cold running water.
  • Cut tomatillos into sixths and place in a 2 cup (500 mL) canning jar.
  • In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, garlic, hot pepper, coriander, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook just until salt is dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add ice cubes or cold water to dilute and cool brine.
  • When ice has melted, pour brine over tomatillos.
  • Cover and refrigerate. The pickles will be ready to eat in 48 hours and can be kept in the fridge for a month.

Makes one 2 cup/500 mL jar.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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