Chilled spiced tomato water
Tomatoes are ripe and juicy now and one fun thing to make with them is tomato water. Making tomato water became trendy a while back but I am slow to jump on the bandwagon. However, we had a flavour packed chilled tomato water soup at a recent multi course dinner at the #chefmeetsBCgrape that inspired me to make this soup now.
To make tomato water you blend ripe, juicy tomatoes with basil, garlic, shallots and other ingredients if you wish (like a gazpacho) and let the pulp drain in a sieve-lined with cheesecloth overnight in the fridge.
Do not stir the mixture, you want only the first run clear water that run off the tomatoes without any stirring or pressing (like first run juice in winemaking). If you stir or press the pulp the water will not be clear and turn cloudy.
Once the tomato water is rendered you can taste and spice it up to your liking. I added salt, hot red pepper slivers, a few small basil leaves, a thyme sprig and that’s all. It had a nice mildly spicy flavour. My suggestion is that you taste your water and spice it up to your liking. It’s difficult to give exact quantities because it depends on the amount of water you get from your tomatoes.
Enjoy, and if you think of variations let me know.
2 lb juicy, ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 small garlic cloves
2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Optional other ingredients: Cucumber, red pepper
2-3 Cherry tomatoes, peeled per bowl
Small basil leaves
Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree to a pulp but do not liquify.
Line a strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl.
Pour the tomato pulp into the cheesecloth and DO NOT STIR.
Set the strainer in the refrigerator and let drain overnight or 12 h or so.
Remove from fridge and discard the pulp.
Taste the water and add flavouring: salt, hot pepper.
Peel the skin off a few cherry tomatoes keeping the green stem if you can.
Place three peeled cherry tomatoes per bowl in shallow bowls.
Pour the tomato water over and garnish with tiny basil leaves, chopped herb flowers etc.
Note: for impact presentation place the garnishes in the bowl and pour the tomato water into the bowl at the table.