Dill & Fish Pepper Pickled Green Tomato Slices

5 large green (unripe) tomatoes (about 4-5 lbs total) cut into 1/4 inch slices and quartered
6 cloves garlic (one for each jar)
6 fish peppers* (one for each jar)
6 dill flowers (one for each jar)
1/4 (loose) cup dill, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 1/2 tablespoons dill seed
1/3 cup pickling salt
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water


Evenly divide the tomatoes, garlic, peppers, dill and seeds between 6 jars.

Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Prep the lids/jars. Pour in the boiling vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Allow to sit at least one week before eating.

Yield: about 6 pints (I ended up with 5 pint jars and 1 pint & half jar)

*Or try cayenne

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:

I love green tomato pickles! I’ve made a few versions over the years but I was especially excited to make these because I got to use Mid-Atlantic heirloom fish peppers and dill (and dill flowers!) right from my garden. I’m trying to let my tomatoes ripen so I did buy the tomatoes from the farm store. I was really excited to use the fish peppers, I’m waiting for them to turn red to make other things with them but green peppers were just fine for these pickles. This is our first year growing them, they can be difficult to find (despite dating back to the 1870s!) but they are growing well. Fish peppers are mostly used in seafood dishes (hence the name) but they work well with vegetables too. The dill flowers I threw in because they look pretty and add even more dill flavor.

I can’t wait to try these on a burger or better yet, a po boy!


  1. JMS~JOY in the arts!

    Can you PLEASE tell us what EXACTLY fish pepper is? Is it white pepper? I do not think it is cook-friendly to use esoteric ingredients and not tell us (in exact simple terms) what they are or how/where to obtain them.

  2. I'm sorry my recipe has angered you so greatly, Joy! If you take a minute and read the recipe and my thoughts you will find that I not only describe the pepper, I made a suggestion for a substitute. I also included photographs of the pepper.

    Additionally a simple Google search yields many articles that go in depth to its history and historical uses.

    Good luck!

  3. I have a question about the dill. You are using the dill heads (flowers) and chopping dill, what part of the plant are you using to chop?

    Thanks –


  4. The leafy part. The stems of the dill plant aren't generally eaten.

  5. I love the fish pepper and have grown it on my balcony for years and not in my community garden plot because it'd gorgeous! Bushy plants with pretty variegated leaves and peppers. It's an heirloom from the freedman/ slaves in Maryland used in fish recipes because the peppers are often white. They taste wonderful too! Thank you for posting these recipes!