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Author Notes: This mix is endlessly variable. If you don’t have siracha on hand, you can use regular hot sauce. You can also swap out the lemon for lime and basil for cilantro. Vibrant summertime tomatoes work best in this recipe. —PhoebeLapine
Makes about 5 cups
- 3 medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 pounds tomatoes (about 10), quartered
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the celery, shallot, and garlic, until finely chopped. Alternatively, you can do this by hand.
- Add the celery mixture along with the tomatoes, basil, salt, and celery seed to a large, non-reactive saucepan and set it over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook until the tomatoes have begun releasing their juices, about 20 minutes.
- Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher, fork, or ladle to break them apart. Cook for another 20 minutes, until very soft and soupy.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or food mill.
- Stir in the lemon juice and siracha. Taste for seasoning. Chill in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To make bloody marys, combine 1 cup of mix with 1/4 cup of vodka and garnish with celery sticks, lemon slivers, and plenty of basil leaves.