It finally happened; TOMATOES! I swear that those damn things have been hangin' around out there, as big as a softball, and totally green, since the middle of June. Maybe it was the fact that it finally warmed up, or perhaps we accidentally purchased the "long ripen" variety this year. Whatever the reason, we finally get to enjoy what is arguably the best part of summer.
BLT's, Caprese, Salsa, you name it, we will be eating it until our surplus runs out, or until we get sick of eating tomato (highly unlikely, possible in theory). If by some chance we do get tired of eating it, we will probably just drink it instead.
Obviously, there is no comparison between a fresh tomato, and the out of season greenhouse variety. The same is most definitely true between fresh juice, and the salt laden, canned variety. Making juice at home is about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen. While it can be a bit of a mess, it is definitely worth it in the end. You could either go with the more workhorse style, centrifugal juicer, or opt for the nutrient retaining masticating style (which we prefer), like a Hurom Eilte. I suppose you could also do it the way your Grandma did it, and hand crank those suckers, but no one really wants that! No matter what you choose, just know that it is going to be a bit more work, but the reward far exceeds the effort.
Last week, we were tapped by Williams-Sonoma to give a little insight about our thoughts on fresh juice, and how dramatically they can change the composition of a dish. More specifically, a well executed Bloody Mary. Because, while fresh juice is fantastic all by itself, adding it to a classic such as this takes it to a whole new level. So, that's how we used up our most recent backyard haul. Picking, juicing, taste testing. Since it took so darn long to get to this point this year, we thought we should maybe do something a bit special with this batch. The addition of tamarind adds a depth of flavor, and works perfectly with the fresh juice, and list of usual subjects. It worked so well in fact, that our seemingly endless supply of bright red beauties, has somehow run dry. Back to waiting, I suppose. But it was totally worth it.
Just in case you didn't gather from the above text. If you don't have a juicer, get one!
**tamarind bloody mary
- 2 cups yellow onion. sliced thin
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste. seeds, and stringy fibers picked out.
- 1 medium jalapeno. chopped.
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1Tb. Sambal
- 1 cup cilantro.
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups water. divided.
- Fresh tomato juice. Roughly 3 cups of juice, for every 2# of tomatoes juiced.
In a medium saute pan, add onion, and a small amount of oil. Saute over medium heat until just beginning to brown. Add 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add tamarind, jalapeno, salt, black pepper, and sambal to the pan. Cook until onions, and pepper is totally softened, and all ingredients are incorporated. Transfer onion mixture to a blender. Add lime juice, and remaining water. Blend until smooth.
To make the drink. Combine 1 cup of onion mixture, with 2 cups of fresh juice, cilantro, and 1 tsp of salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add 2 oz. of vodka, to 6-8 oz. of mix per glass. Garnish with tomato, cilantro and jalapeno. Enjoy.