Make Ahead

Double Duty Tomatoes: Zesty Tomato Water and Roasted Tomato Relish

August 25, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes 2 cups each of relish and water
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

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • Roasted Tomato Relish
  • chopped, drained tomatoes and garlic from the previous recipe
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Zesty Tomato Water
  2. Cut the tomatoes into a large, rough dice. Place them in a large bowl.
  3. Add salt and garlic and stir to combine.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, then drain off the liquid.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. Roasted Tomato Relish
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Put the tomato-garlic mixture and olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and mix well with your hands to combine.
  4. Roast the mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching, until the tomatoes become limp and start to caramelize.
  5. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Robin O'D
    Robin O'D
  • lapadia
  • luvcookbooks
  • Amber Olson
    Amber Olson
  • vrunka

15 Reviews

Skinny B. August 19, 2013
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?
vvvanessa August 19, 2013
Definitely save the water with each draining. I will edit for clarity-- thanks for bringing that to my attention!
Robin O. July 20, 2011
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.
vvvanessa July 22, 2011
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.
Nerissa October 20, 2010
This sounds amazing! I'm salivating just looking at the picture.

Off to the farm stand for me.
vvvanessa July 22, 2011
: )
lapadia October 19, 2010
Made this recipe the other day and used the tomato water in my vegetable soup...a great addition, and as for the relish....delicous!
lapadia October 20, 2010
luvcookbooks September 6, 2010
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!
vvvanessa September 6, 2010
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!
Amber O. September 4, 2010
I, too, am a fan of tomato water and keep some vacuumed sealed in the freezer to make stock all winter long!
vvvanessa September 6, 2010
oooh. vacuum sealing! love it!
vrunka August 26, 2010
double yum!
lapadia August 25, 2010
Similar to my oven roasted tomatoes; I shall try your recipe on pizza...for starters!
vvvanessa September 6, 2010
super idea!