Double Duty Tomatoes: Zesty Tomato Water and Roasted Tomato Relish

By • August 25, 2010 15 Comments

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Author Notes: Though I'm a big fan of tomato juice, lately, with the abundance of big, juicy, ripe tomatoes all over the Greenmarkets, I've developed an obsession for tomato water, the liquid that runs out from the fruit when it's cut open. Buying several pounds of tomatoes at a time to yield a couple of cups of juice leaves me with a surfeit of tomato flesh, which allows me to make my second favorite summer tomato treat: roasted tomato relish. See below for some ideas on how I use it; it's embarrassingly easy to make for such a versatile and delicious accompaniment.vvvanessa

Food52 Review: The tomato water was quick and easy to make, and the relish just needed to be mixed with olive oil and roasted after the water was finished. Both recipes were very popular in my household. The tomato water (properly chilled) got rave reviews. I think the tomato water would make an all time great Bloody Mary. Thumbs up for two easy recipes in one! And the relish is good as salad before it's roasted -- make that three recipes in one! - luvcookbooksThe Editors

Makes 2 cups each of relish and water

Zesty Tomato Water

  • 4 pounds fresh, very ripe tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • optional: 1 fresh hot pepper, like jalapeño or serrano, cut into thin rounds (use the ribs and seeds for a spicier drink or remove them for a milder effect)
  • optional: fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or basil, roughly chopped
  • optional: freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut the tomatoes into a large, rough dice. Place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add salt and garlic and stir to combine.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, then drain off the liquid.
  4. Let the tomatoes sit for another 30 minutes, adding a little more salt to taste, then drain the liquid off again. Use a sieve to help extract as much liquid as possible.
  5. Add the hot pepper and/or fresh herbs to the liquid if you'd like. Chill the seasonded tomato water for at least an hour. To serve, pour it into glasses, straining out the peppers and herbs. Garnish with a dusting of black pepper if desired. I like it best served very cold.

Roasted Tomato Relish

  • chopped, drained tomatoes and garlic from the previous recipe
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Put the tomato-garlic mixture and olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and mix well with your hands to combine.
  3. Roast the mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching, until the tomatoes become limp and start to caramelize.
  4. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so.
  5. Ideas on how to use the relish: spread it on toast or on burgers, or toss a few heaping spoonfuls of it into pasta with some fresh baby spinach leaves and a shower of fresh parmesan. Stir it into macaroni and cheese, use it as part of an antipasti platter, top a grilled chicken breast or pork chop with it.
  6. You can also make it into a paste by mincing it or smushing it with the flat side of a broad chef's knife. Mix the paste in with cooked garbanzos, shredded raw zucchini, minced onion, lots of olive oil, and a splash of white wine vinegar to make a quick, light, summer salad. Or whisk some into a vinaigrette to dress salads or vegetables.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Vegetables|Condiments|Ribs|Basil

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Comments (15) Questions (1)


about 2 years ago Skinny bitches

When you say drain off the liquid 2x for the tomato water, do you mean saving the liquid or do you literally throw it away until the 3x drainage you save it?


about 2 years ago vvvanessa

Definitely save the water with each draining. I will edit for clarity-- thanks for bringing that to my attention!


about 4 years ago Robin O'D

This recipe was just the ticket for all my tomatoes from the garden! The tomato water was delicious. I think next time I may spike it with some vodka for a cocktail! I used the tomato relish on toasted baguette with fried egg on top. Wow! I am making more tomorrow, I am sure I will find many more uses for it. Thanks.


about 4 years ago vvvanessa

thank you for the feedback, robin o'd! i'm really glad you enjoyed it. i used to work in a restaurant where we made a gin and tomato water martini-- customers waited all year for it to appear on the menu and guzzled them down come summer. i love to eat the relish on toast with soft goat cheese or just more olive oil. it also is pretty yummy on a blt.


almost 5 years ago Nerissa

This sounds amazing! I'm salivating just looking at the picture.

Off to the farm stand for me.


about 4 years ago vvvanessa

: )


almost 5 years ago lapadia

Made this recipe the other day and used the tomato water in my vegetable soup...a great addition, and as for the relish....delicous!


almost 5 years ago lapadia



almost 5 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I'm in the middle of recipe testing-- the relish is in the oven and the tomato water is in the frig. My daughter tried to shanghai the tomato water before it even chilled-- she loves it!
And I would have eaten the tomatoes as salad if I wasn't recipe testing!! Thanks for the recipe and the opportunity to test it!


almost 5 years ago vvvanessa

thanks for checking in! i hope you enjoy the process and outcome as much as i do. have fun with the roasted tomatoes-- they're wonderfully versatile. i made the last couple of batches of tomato water with extra serrano peppers with ribs and seeds. i drank it for breakfast, and it's a zippy way to wake up in the morning!


almost 5 years ago Amber Olson

I, too, am a fan of tomato water and keep some vacuumed sealed in the freezer to make stock all winter long!


almost 5 years ago vvvanessa

oooh. vacuum sealing! love it!


about 5 years ago vrunka

double yum!


about 5 years ago lapadia

Similar to my oven roasted tomatoes; I shall try your recipe on pizza...for starters!


almost 5 years ago vvvanessa

super idea!