It’s peak tomato season, so at the farmers market I’ve been rattling off all the tomato projects I know in a very thinly veiled attempt to convince people to buy huge amounts of tomatoes from me. The usual tomato projects that I tell people about are making canned sauce, dehydrating heirlooms in the oven (they’re so good, and it’s so easy!), freezing bags of sungold tomatoes to make tomato bisque during the winter, canning tomato jam, ketchup, and bbq sauce… I mistakenly omitted one of the best projects, though: the Bloody Mary. Williams-Sonoma contacted me and asked if I’d share my recipe here as part of their focus on juicing this month. Since Bloody Marys are delicious and we’re drowning in tomatoes, it seemed like a perfect idea. (Especially since a bunch of the farmers from the Redwood Valley Farmers Market had been meeting up after the market for Bloody Marys for a good part of the summer, and every time we’re drinking them I keep saying I need to write up our recipe to share with everyone). These are bloody marys for right now. While it’s true that you can cook tomato juice and can bloody mary mix for later (which I’m going to do), the base for this cocktail is just fresh tomato juice, bright and sweet. I used my champion juicer to juice a couple slightly overripe tomatoes that we had leftover from the market today, but feel free to use a blender if you don’t own a juicer.
The ingredients for this cocktail were almost all right out in the garden. Jason picked some fresh dill to add to the bloody mary base, along with horseradish and green olives. I raided the pantry for some pickled okra and dilly beans that I’d canned a few weeks ago for garnishes, though any sort of crunchy pickled vegetable is at home in a bloody mary. The one thing I noticed is that you have to be careful not to over spice these since the fresh juice from heirloom tomatoes tastes much more delicate than regular cooked bloody mary mix. Our first round was a little heavy on the horseradish and I thought it overwhelmed the flavor of the tomatoes, so naturally we had to do some more recipe testing and get it figured out. Naturally. (Because cocktails).HEIRLOOM TOMATO BLOODY MARYS
The perfect cocktail to celebrate tomato season, and the perfect cocktail to relax after a long day working at the farmers market.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 cocktails
- Bloody Mary Mix
- 4 oz. vodka
- Garnishes: pickled okra, dilly beans, lemon wedges and green olives
Fill two glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces of vodka (or less, of course) to each glass. Top of bloody mary mix. Stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and pickled vegetables.
BLOODY MARY MIX
- 2 c. fresh heirloom tomato juice
- juice from a wedge of lemon
- 2 tbs. fresh dill, roughly chopped
- a dash of worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste
- 3 green olives and 1 tbs. olive juice
- 1 tsp. prepared horseradish (or if you have fresh, substitute 1/2 tsp. fresh grated horseradish)
- 1/2 tsp. celery salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Individual varieties of tomatoes will taste very different from one another and may taste good with more horseradish, a little extra heat, some extra lemon, etc.