Summer tomatoes are at their peak and the heirloom variety is as pretty as a picture. I just love the colors, shapes and textures of these sweet, summer jewels. Whether you’re slicing them to top a killer BLT sandwich, pureeing them for a homemade marinara sauce, or juicing them to make the base for a fresh Bloody Mary, they are ripe for the picking and ready to be added to an array of summer dishes. When the go-to source for gourmet foods and professional cookware, Williams-Sonoma, asked me and a group of other bloggers to put our own spin on the traditional Bloody Mary using ripe, summer tomatoes, I jumped at the opportunity to make something that’s inspired by the many flavors of summer. For me, that includes ripe, earthy tomatoes, sweet, juicy melon and bright, tender basil. Enhanced with a little heat and some saltiness, it’s a perfectly unique, summery twist on the classic Bloody Mary base.
I’ve been researching juicers recently, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. I’m eyeing up the Breville Juice Fountain Elite for its large feed tube. As a busy mom, easier is always better, and the extra large tube eliminates the need to precut ingredients. That’s a huge time-saver and it would allow me to make fresh, healthy juices for my family in a flash! In the meantime, I’m using my handy dandy blender to whip up shakes and purees. For this recipe, I decided to broiled the tomatoes first, which helps intensify and bring out their deep flavor. I removed the skin and pulsed the whole tomatoes in the blender. It’s an extra step, but I know that it’s fresher and healthier than pre-bottled juices.
Take advantage of summer’s sweet bounty this Labor Day weekend and give this cocktail a try. It’s a great way to savor the last days of the season. Crafty Tip: you can also freeze the puree for the base in airtight containers so you can enjoy summer-inspired Bloody Mary’s for weeks to come!
Ingredients for the base:
(Makes about two servings)
1 lb. of ripe heirloom tomatoes (plum or campari would also work well since they are naturally sweet)
1/4 of a ripe cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
3-4 basil leaves
Sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Broil the tomatoes whole with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the skin begins to blister and the tomatoes are soft, remove from the oven. Allow to cool just enough so you can handle them. Peel off the skin and discard.
Place the tomatoes, cantaloupe and basil leaves in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Give it one last quick pulse to blend.
In a glass, place a few ice cubes. Pour in about 1 1/2 ounces of vodka. Pour some of the base into the glass. Give it a stir to incorporate. Garnish each glass with a bleu cheese stuffed olive and melon ball on a cocktail pick.
Alternatively, you could also place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with with ice.