Make Your Own Tomato Juice
One of the best ways to use up a lot of red-ripe tomatoes is chilled tomato juice.
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Chilled homemade tomato juice is better than anything from a can or bottle. You can go lighter on the salt than commercial canners do. Use it for Bloody Marys or simply accent with a squeeze of lime or lemon. Float a perfect green leaf on top, perhaps a small basil leaf or a celery-flavored lovage leaf from the herb garden.
1. Wash, core and quarter 5 pounds of ripe red tomatoes.
2. Place in a large nonreactive pot over medium heat. Add 1 small red onion, halved, and 1 celery rib with leaves.
3. Cover and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Cool. Discard onion and celery.
4. Pass tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the fine sieve. Discard solids. Measure juice and return to cleaned pot.
5. For each 4 cups of tomato juice, season with 1 tsp. sugar, up to 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Stir to dissolve over medium heat. Cool, then chill. Taste for salt. Serve within three days.
—You Say Tomato, by Joanne Weir (Broadway Books, 1998)
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service