The month of tomato recipes is coming to a close—not that we’ve exhausted all means of creativity for your bountiful tomato patch. I’ve seen folks walking around our town with skin tinged pink from all the red fruits they’ve been eating and a lost, pleading look in their eyes. They’re holding sacks or wooden crates of vegetables and offering their contents to passersby, mumbling, “I’m plum outta my mind what to do with all these here termaters. Take ‘em off my hand, will ya?”
So … one more easy peasy recipe for them there termaters.
This little pearl can made with just about any ripe produce you can squeeze a drop of juice from. Tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, sugar snap peas—live a little—try something weird like kohlrabi or kale. The uses are endless and only limited by your imagination. Think big, think bizarre, think molecular gastronomy.
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook it. On that note, some people do prefer to skin, puree, and simmer until the pink frothy tomatoes have turned red. Many chefs find this not only an added time commitment, but also feel it gives the tomatoes a slightly cooked, if not burnt taste and prefer the fruit left pure, simple and clean. I vote for simple.
Roughly chop the tomatoes you want to use. (Let’s say a pound.) Slightly overripe is a bonus as they may contain more juice. Chuck ’em into your Cuisinart.
Add a touch of salt and a few tablespoons of water.
Whiz up in a blender or food processor leaving them chunky—not pureed.
Pour into either 3 to 4 layers of cheesecloth or a clean dishtowel lined bowl. Bundle the ends up and tie around a wooden spoon. Suspend the bundle so the water can drip out the cloth into the bowl.
Let it drain in the fridge for the day or overnight.
Your liquid is pure gold—not necessarily in color, but in value.
- Chill, serve with a small chunk of feta cheese and a basil leaf as an amuse bouche.
- Use as a marinade for small mozzarella balls along with fresh herbs and olive oil.
- Infuse it and make a Tomato Vodka.
- Replace your tomato juice with tomato water for a brilliant Bloody Mary.
- Use as a base for gazpacho.
- Create a poaching liquid for fish, lobster or shrimp.
- Make it into a dressing for fresh oysters or incorporate it into oyster shooters.
- Use in place of water or lemon juice in vinaigrettes.
- Cook or season your grains with it.
- Simply keep frozen in small quantities for easy use and INSTANT SUMMER.
Tomatoes? … Take a bow and exit stage left.
PS If you’re searching for seeds (from arugula to zucchini and everything in between), I’m recommending a company that not only has a worthy mission creed but a wonderful moral code. Give The Mauro Seed Company a looksee.
Their motto? Grow One, Give One. I’m impressed. Maybe you will be too.