"Russian chefs learn pickling on their babushkas' laps," says chef Ivan Berezutskiy, and in Russia, they often pickle with salt instead of vinegar. The most difficult part of pickling tomatoes, a tradition in Moscow, is waiting the required two weeks before eating them. At the end, the brine-logged tomato flesh takes on a funky, fermented flavor and mustardy heat, with a waterlogged texture and sweet-tart quality similar to ripe watermelon.
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 7 medium, firm vine-ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 lb.)
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 3 cloves garlic
- One 1-inch piece horseradish root, peeled (1/2 oz.)
- 1 small bunch dill (1 1/4 oz.)
- 1⁄4 cup yellow mustard powder