Plump ruby tomatoes, warm in the summer sun and bursting with juice, picked right off the vine.
Delicious image, isn't it?
This recipe shows you how to harness and concentrate that bright reminder of tomato flavor in a whole new light.
Use it in pasta dishes, drinks, and soups for a visually appealing taste of summer.
As a plus- If you've always wanted to enjoy tomatoes, but fear what lies in the murky depths of your opaque bloody mary / tomato soup, this recipe will soothe your oddly specific tomato-based phobias. Tomato water has nothing to hide from you except the depth of its flavor.
Step 1: What You'll Need
- Ripe tomatoes (the riper they are, the better the flavor)
- 3 layers or so of cheesecloth (or a thin and clean dish towel)
- Large bowl/spoon/strainer
- Pinch of salt
* Aromatics (optional, but tasty)
And of course, you'll need some time.
Step 2: The Prep Step
Some recipes call for cooking your tomatoes and skinning them before this step, but for a cocktail or fresh soup base, I'd prefer the bright taste of raw/fresh tomatoes. If you'd prefer a deeper flavor for pasta or a richer dish, feel free to chop your tomatoes up and stew them until they turn a rich red color before proceeding.
- Chop your tomatoes up.
I suggest chopping them into a medium sized dice just for ease of processing, but it's up to you and your blender strength.
- Add pinch of salt to taste, along with aromatics.
Now would be the time to add lemongrass, pepper, garlic, lemon juice. Be creative here. I added a habanero for some spice.
- Add to your blender and blend!
We're looking for a puree consistency here, so it's pretty error-proof.
Step 3: Strain and Drain
Time to drain.
Pour your mixture into your thick cheesecloth layer, or your thin kitchen towel. The goal of this step is to filter out all the tomato particulate, leaving only the juice and aromatics of the tomato for the use of your choice.
At this point, tie your filter up tightly like a hobo-bindle as I did, and suspend it about the receptacle of your choosing, or let it sit in a large mesh sieve and slowly drip through.
DO NOT SQUEEZE YOUR FILTER
DO NOT LET YOUR FILTER SIT IN YOUR TOMATO WATER
Let sit in your fridge for 6-8 hours. Your tomato water should be transparent with a faint yellow or pink color. If thick or cloudy when you begin filtering, use more cheesecloth or towel.
Step 4: Transparent Tastiness
Here's what your tomato water should look like when done. It'll be amazingly fresh and vibrant smelling and tasting, but clear. Use it for a flavorful cocktail base, or even combine it with a clear chicken consomme/broth for an incredible looking and tasting tomato soup. If you're interested in putting this all together into a tomato water bloody mary (blood-plasma mary?), go to the next step.
Step 5: Drink Up
Transparent Bloody Mary- (Plasma Mary)
- 6 oz tomato water
- 3 oz gin/vodka
(Hendrick's would be perfect for it's cucumber taste. You could also use a citrus, pepper, or cucumber vodka)
(Edible flowers, tomatoes, celery sticks, radish flowers. Go wild.)
Enjoy, and let me know how your recipes turned out in the comments below!