This may be the most bourgeois post title ever.
Granted, when serving this to someone I would just call the damn thing a Bloody Mary. On the flip side, I am in the business of honesty when it comes to mixing and “Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary” sounds more intriguing than the snoozefest V8 version.
As produce-lovers can attest, we are presently hip-deep in tomato season—the one time of the year when you can’t turn around but find yourself face-to-face with a rainbow-hued array of sweet, juicy, delicious heirloom tomatoes. I’ve been fighting the urge to eat nothing but sliced and salted heirlooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner with varying degrees of success and it is for this reason that I am sacrificing so mightily for my dear readers. This week’s tomato haul from the farmer’s market went in the oven (sacrilege!) to become a fresh, tasty late-summer cocktail.
1 pound red(ish) heirloom tomatoes, cut into roughly 1″ square pieces
1 small-medium sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and quartered (and seeded if you don’t want it hot)
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces tomato water*
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon horseradish (1 teaspoon if you’re using fresh)
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread the tomatoes, onions, and chili in a nonreactive roasting pan in one layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the vodka, tomato water and horseradish to the pan and roast for another 15 minutes, until everything is good and bubbly. Remove from oven and cool. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender, add the cilantro, season with salt, pepper and lime juice, and purée until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, at least a few hours or overnight. Yields two cups.
To mix the drink, pour two ounces of vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Add a splash of fresh lime juice, two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of celery salt and hot sauce to taste and top with heirloom tomato mix. Shake like crazy and pour into a salt-rimmed Collins glass half full of ice. Garnish with a fresh heirloom cherry tomato.
*To make tomato water, roughly chop your tomatoes and place them in a sieve set over a bowl and let drain for two hours, or until the tomatoes stop dripping.
If you like thick, chunky Bloody Marys that you can sink your teeth into, you’re going to love this. It has a sweet character from the heirlooms that you don’t find in regular tomato juice and a gazpacho-like thickness that is pepped up by the spicy jalapeños. I wouldn’t go out of my way to make this every week, but it is certainly a fresh, interesting alternative to more traditional tomato-based drinks.
Adapted from an original recipe on the perenially fabulous Matt Bites.