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Tomato water can be described as being the essence of the tomato. It has been all the rage since Martha Stewart featured it on her show recently. Chefs on television are now busy including tomato water in all kinds of recipes. It is also used as a decorative drizzle on a plate.
You would think that tomato water would be red or pink but it is actually a pale yellow juice. It also a very strong smell that goes well with anything that goes well with tomatoes including olives, tomatoes and salads.
Tomato water is usually enhances with a bit of a salt. It is a gourmet item so it only needs a small amount of salt to become the base for summer cocktails and soups. You can also add them to pickle recipes to give them more of a nip.
Tomato water is great for making tomato water martinis and also for making richly flavored gazpachos and cucumber based soups. In fact the tomato water martini is also sometimes dubbed as the dirty martini. Usually these martinis are garnished with interesting things like caper berries or pickled tomatoes. For a different treat try making the tomato water martini with gin instead of vodka. Tomato martinis are becoming all the in the big fancy bars in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
To make the tomato water, puree ripe tomatoes and place the mixture in triple-ply cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth together in a bundle Hang the bundle or let rest in a chinois, with a bowl resting underneath to catch the tomato drippings. Leave the puree to drain at room temperature overnight. Let it drip for as long as possible. The next morning, the liquid captured from the tomato bundle will be deeply flavored and aromatic. You can bottle this tomato water and put it in the fridge and use it to make great salad dressings or you can drizzle it on bread along with some olive oil. Don’t use tomato water that has been sitting all day unrefrigerated on the counter.
If you want your tomato water to turn out right make sure you make it in the manner just described. Don’t try to use some kind of press or blenders. Just manually chop up the tomatoes and bundle them and let them be. In a way the less bruising and manual handling done of the tomatoes themselves the better the tomato water will taste in the end.