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Offbeat Eats: You Say Tomato, We Say Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

We’d be hard-pressed to find something we like as much as a fresh tomato in the summer, plucked warm from the vine and eaten with nothing but a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a showering of large-flake salt and perhaps a dollop of fresh burrata. Just kidding – finding something we like as much as a fresh tomato was easy because Pickled Cherry Tomatoes exist and we’re obsessed.

Nick Melvin of Doux South is a lifelong pickling devotee, having been trained in the Southern style by his mother using vegetables straight from their garden in New Orleans. Now in Decatur, Georgia, Nick adds his own modern touches and uses produce from local organic farmers. Like these cherry tomatoes.

Totally different than anything you’ve had before, these juicy, organic “drunken tomatoes” are brined in a mixture of water, vinegar, red wine, onion, sugar, garlic, salt, mustard seed, fresh and dry basil and celery seed. They explode between your teeth along with the crunch of little mustard seeds, and the red wine really adds a depth of flavor – but don't worry, the alcohol gets cooked off in the pickling process so these are safe for pickle-lovers of all ages.

We eat these plump pickled tomatoes on and with everything (and sometimes just straight from the jar). The burst of sweet tomato and tangy acid is crazy good in a grilled cheese, or speared with a toothpick and plopped in martinis, cooked with butter until they burst and tossed with spaghetti and, of course, on a cheese plate, nibbled with our standing favorites: Coupole, Hunter Cheddar and salami.

And the adventure doesn't end once you've eaten the last juicy tomato, "because Doux South pickle brine is a terrible thing to waste!" Try adding a splash to your next batch of hummus, a Bloody Mary or a red cabbage slaw. 

How are you getting your pickled tomato on? Show us @MouthFoods using the hashtag #MOUTHwatering. Let’s swap secrets!

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