Recipes from grandfather Vadim. How to cook vegetable caviar?

Suddenly, friends and acquaintances started talking about green tomatoes. Magazine publications appeared. My wife and I have closed this topic for a long time. We are summer residents with more than twenty years of experience and at the dawn of our gardening life we ​​also faced this problem, but we coped very quickly and have been successfully processing green tomatoes for many years.

Fall. The harvest is harvested. Left lonely hanging green tomatoes.

Photo: Vadim Garin, personal archive


– What’s to break your head? Put in plastic boxes for vegetables and put on the windowsill – they will ripen, and some summer residents, on the contrary, put the box on the floor and cover it with a blanket. In the warmth they will turn red faster.

Indeed, a part is ripening. I like the windowsill more: you can see how the tomatoes ripen, and you can quickly remove the spoiled ones. True, their taste is different, “discounted”, as my wife says, but I am glad of that in November too.

Photo: Vadim Garin, personal archive

Many summer residents salt green tomatoes for the winter. Recipes – the sea. An incision is usually made into which a mixture of coarsely grated carrots, herbs, pepper and garlic is stuffed. Then pour in brine. Many Internet users share similar recipes.

I make delicious vegetable caviar from green tomatoes. True, the wife calls her caviar “from the ax.” Why? You will understand from my story.

But before moving on to the actual culinary recipe, I will tell you about the principles of cooking any vegetable caviar, which I have been strictly using until now. The method of preparing vegetable caviar in question is widespread in the Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Region (I have lived in Rostov for over 20 years, and most of my recipes are of local origin). Note that I’m not talking about preparations for the winter.

  • The main cooking principle – in separate sautéing vegetables.
  • It is important to understand that browning does not mean frying… When browning, a golden brown crust does not form on the surface of the vegetables. The purpose of sautéing is softening. This improves the taste of vegetables.

Everything is done very simply, without fuss, but breaking these simple rules can ruin the taste and appearance of the dish. Basically, vegetables are cooked in a skillet in oil (the amount of oil should be slightly higher than needed for frying). In the process, the extraction of flavoring, coloring and aromatic substances contained in vegetables takes place.

Recipes from grandfather Vadim.  How to cook vegetable caviar?
Photo: Depositphotos

So what’s the most important thing in making caviar? And most importantly – everything!

Let’s start with onions and carrots. Without them “not here and not here”!

Carrot chopped on a coarse grater. Onion cut in half, then I cut the halves into five-millimeter strips, followed by grinding, usually into four parts.

First, put onions in the pan. Many people argue that you first need to put carrots – this is not true. During the heat treatment, carrots release juice and prevent the onions from reaching the desired degree of readiness, and vegetables do not give the oil the necessary aroma. I use refined vegetable oil, but at the end of sautéing, sometimes I add butter (not at all necessary) – in my opinion, it improves the taste of caviar.

This usually takes up to 15 minutes over medium heat. After heat treatment, vegetables have a beautiful golden hue, bitterness is extracted from onions, products are better and faster absorbed.

I use sauteed vegetables immediately, but they can also be stored in the refrigerator as a semi-finished product.

In another frying pan I fry main filler – zucchini or any other vegetables. The exception is beets – they are simply boiled in a saucepan.

By the way, I will note that it is beetroot caviar that I most often cook in winter. It is the most affordable and cheapest. When ready, I clean the beets and rub them on a coarse grater. For the rest, the technology of cooking any vegetable caviar is preserved.

Recipes from grandfather Vadim.  How to cook vegetable caviar?
Photo: Depositphotos

I pass separately bell pepper, cut into small cubes. Then I mix all the vegetables. I have a large skillet with high sides, but when there is a lot of caviar, I use a regular thick-walled aluminum pan.

I add tomato paste, bay leaves, suneli hops, kukurma or any other favorite spices. Garlic (five teeth) I rub on a medium grater or pass through a garlic press and add five minutes before the end of cooking. The caviar is cooked for another ten to fifteen minutes.

I don’t put pepper, my wife doesn’t eat spicy dishes. For myself, separately, I add Caucasian adjika (not ketchup) to the caviar.


  • If you are cooking zucchini caviar, it is best to squeeze excess water out of the diced vegetables to avoid too runny caviar. And if you cook caviar from blue (eggplant), then the peeled eggplants cut into cubes must be salted, wait five to ten minutes and be sure to squeeze: this way you will also remove the eggplant bitterness.

Recipes from grandfather Vadim.  How to cook vegetable caviar?
Photo: Depositphotos

And finally green tomatoes… The recipe for caviar from them is as follows:

  1. Keeping all the principles of cooking vegetable caviar, I pass finely chopped onions with carrots grated on a coarse grater. I usually take four large onions and two or three carrots.
  2. I cut the green tomatoes (small, they will not ripen anymore) into small cubes. The volume is about a deep plate with the top. Pass them separately from the onions and carrots in another skillet. There I immediately add diced bell peppers – one, two or more (this is a slight deviation from separate cooking). You can’t spoil caviar with pepper!
  3. Then I put the pans together.
  4. On a coarse grater I rub a medium-sized green (winter) apple. It removes excess acidity from green tomatoes. If someone likes sweeter caviar, add two apples.
  5. I add three tablespoons of tomato paste, salt, pepper to taste, spices, bay leaf, four to five cloves of garlic, grated on a medium grater and cook for another 15 minutes over low heat.

This caviar can be eaten both hot and cold. My wife and I like cold caviar better.

Recipes from grandfather Vadim.  How to cook vegetable caviar?
Photo: Depositphotos

And one more thing: if there are a lot of tomatoes, I make a harvest of them for the winter to add to vegetable caviar from beets or zucchini. I cut it into cubes, pass it for a long time (about an hour), put it in sterilized 0.5-liter jars, add half a tablespoon of vegetable oil on top and roll it up with iron lids. In winter, when preparing vegetable caviar from beets, I add a blank of green tomatoes.

Enjoy your meal!

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