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
Test Kitchen Notes
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! - luvcookbooks —The Editors
2 cups each of relish and water
Zesty Tomato Water
fresh, very ripe tomatoes, washed and dried
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
Roasted Tomato Relish
chopped, drained tomatoes and garlic from the previous recipe
Cut the tomatoes into a large, rough dice. Place them in a large bowl.
Add salt and garlic and stir to combine.
Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, then drain off the liquid.
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.
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
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Put the tomato-garlic mixture and olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and mix well with your hands to combine.
Roast the mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching, until the tomatoes become limp and start to caramelize.
Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so.
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.
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.