DIY Tomato Juice
We’re trying not to waste anything at the market if we can help it. So any tomatoes featured in last week’s Tomato Show that weren’t reclaimed by their owners were “re-homed.” “Would you like them?” asked Carrie Richter, proffering two impressive knobbly heirlooms, each weighing about a pound? After a full day’s duty at the Tomato Show table, under unrelenting sun, they were a little soft by the weekend for salad.
So we made juice.
No need for a juicer – a blender and a sieve is all you need for this fresh-tasting juice (with no tinny off-tastes.) Spice it up to make kick-ass Virgin Marys, Bloody Marys, and –for you beertail fans— tomato-ey Micheladas. Or make the juice your starting point for Gazpacho and other soups (included in this week’s Tomato Tombola recipes). Cheers!
DIY Tomato Juice
2 lbs meaty, juicy, red or orangey-red- tomatoes
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. honey
sprig of fresh thyme, or other tomato-loving herb
optional small celery stalk, or half a larger one, very finely chopped
shake of Nobska Farm’s hot sauce or finely ground pepper to taste
Wash tomatoes. Core and chop, saving all the juices.
Tip tomatoes and juice into a deep non-reactive pan (eg stainless steel or enamel-lined). Stir in salt, honey, and let sit 10 minutes to let more juices run.
If your tomatoes are very ripe, they’ll be swimming in juice – the juice almost level with tomato chunks. If not, add a splash of water.
Add a sprig of thyme, and, if you have it handy, a handful of very finely chopped celery.
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring and mashing down on tomatoes. Reduce heat so tomatoes bubble very briskly without spattering. Cook 5-10 minutes or until you have a lumpy soup, and celery, if using, is translucent. Switch off heat; let cool.
Remove thyme sprig. Ladle everything else into blender, in batches, and pulse each batch briefly, just to more or less liquefy. (Over-blending chops up too many seeds, makes juice less bright-tasting.)
Pour juice a bit at a time through a fine-to-medium mesh sieve, propped over a bowl, pushing on solids with a spatula or spoon to extract every last drop of juice. (Compost skin and seeds left in sieve.)
Check seasoning and add hot sauce or pepper to taste.
Chill juice for several hours if possible before using. Store in fridge for up to week. Our 2 hefty heirlooms (2 lbs.) made 2 pints juice.