POMODORI VERDI SOTT'OLIO (GREEN TOMATOES PRESERVED IN 0IL)*
5 pounds (2.25 kilos) green (unripe) tomatoes
1/2 cup (70 grams) kosher salt
6 cups (1.5 litres) white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
5 cloves garlic
4 small fresh hot red peppers, such as cayenne or Thai, or to taste, sliced crosswise
Extra virgin olive oil for topping jars
Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick (6-millimeter-thick) slices. Make layers of tomatoes and salt in a stainless steel or plastic colander. Top them with a heavy weight. (A water-filled pan smaller than the colander works well.) Let stand for 24 hours to draw out the juices.
In a heavy 8-quart pot (stainless steel or other non-reactive metal), combine the vinegar and 3 cups (750 ml) water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tomato slices, pushing them down into the liquid with a wooden spoon. Return to a boil and cook until the tomatoes are tender, not mushy, about one minute. Do not overcook the tomatoes or they will fall apart.
Drain the tomatoes and place in a large colander. Top them with a heavy weight to squeeze out the liquid. Let the tomato slices drain under the weight for 15-20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Cover a table with thick cardboard, and then lay clean kitchen towels on top of the cardboard. Arrange the tomato slices on the towels, spreading the tomatoes apart. Let dry at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours. They should look dry but still feel a little damp.
Place a layer of tomato slices in a wide-mouth 1 quart canning jar or in each of two 1-pint canning jars. Sprinkle with some of the mint, garlic, and hot peppers and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat the layering until you have used all the tomatoes, pressing gently on the layers as you make them. When you have made the final layer, top with enough oil to submerge the tomatoes completely.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two weeks before sampling to give the tomatoes time to absorb the seasonings. Bring them out of the refrigerator for about an hour before serving to allow the oil to liquefy. Return leftover tomatoes to the refrigerator, topping with oil so they remain completely submerged. If kept submerged in olive oil and refrigerated, the tomatoes will last for up to six months.
*Adapted from My Calabria, by Rosetta Constantino (2010, W.W. Norton & Co.)