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Fermented Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic

If you’re into consuming gut-healthy probiotic-rich foods, don’t stop with just cabbage for sauerkraut. Having fun experimenting with some of your favorite other veggies. And if you haven’t yet made your own, once you do you’ll want to keep a regular supply of probiotic-rich foods in your fridge and pantry.

We prefer a well-stocked pantry of fresh and fermented foods to a well-stocked medicine cabinet!

A member of the Planting for Retirement Facebook group contributed this recipe and photos. Making fermented foods is super simple and so healthy!

Fermented Basil & Garlic Tomatoes

Recipe and Image contributed by Karlene Tai-Anderson‎

Prep time: 10 mins; Total time: 10 mins


  • Tomatoes (enough to fill your jar of choice, leaving 2 inches or more at the top)
  • Fresh Basil, left whole (1 sprig with several leaves per cup of tomatoes)
  • Garlic, roughly chopped or sliced (1 clove per cup of tomatoes)

Brine Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 cups Water

How to Prepare the Brine:

Whisk the salt and water together to dissolve the salt. OR bring a small amount of the water and all of the salt to a simmer and then turn off. It will dissolve faster this way. Transfer to a cooler container and cool it down further with the rest of the water. Make sure it is closer to room temp before you pour it over the tomatoes.


For the Tomatoes:

  • Wash the tomatoes.
  • Poke each tomato with a skewer (1-2 for cherry tomatoes, 2-4 for bigger ones).
  • Layer the tomatoes with the garlic and basil in a jar, ending on tomatoes (to avoid garlic or basil floaters).
  • Put something on top to weigh them down (non-metal).*
  • Pour the brine over the top so that it covers the tomatoes by 1-2 inches.
  • Cover with a lid, a tea clean towel and elastic or a fermenting lid.
  • Leave somewhere dark-ish for 5-7 days.
  • Check on them daily to make sure nothing has floated above the surface (if it has, poke it back down and secure it).

*I have mason jar-sized weights but you can also use a clean glass jar filled with water, a clean rock, a cabbage leaf that wraps around the top, or maybe if you’re using bigger tomatoes you can wedge them in well enough so that they stay in place.

Taste them at day 4. They should be sweet and a little acidic and slightly fizzy. Store in the fridge in their brine. Use the tomatoes, basil and garlic in cooler recipes such as salads and hors d’oeuvres  as cooking them will destroy their beneficial bacteria.

Fermented tomatoes image and recipe by Karlene Tai-Anderson on

How to Eat Fermented Tomatoes

Purée the fermented vegetables into hummus (use the brine too, in place of water), top off your toast with them, add them to salad, put them out as appetizers mixed with some olives, put them out on a vegan cheese platter, roughly chop them up to make salsa, eat them right out of the fridge.

YUM! Mouth’s watering… heading to the kitchen!

Thanks to Karlene for sharing her recipe and photo with GardensAll!

Happy Pickling!

I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.

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