Tomato Broth Recipe

Tomato Broth Recipe

Now that fall has officially kicked into gear, we’re running out of time to use up summer’s tomato bounty. Take advantage of the red gems with this simple recipe from our friend Bryn Mooth.

Fun Ingredient of the Week: Tomato Broth

Want to get at the essence of a tomato—the pure, wonderful flavor of summer’s best treat? Make tomato broth.

This is not to be confused with tomato juice, which contains more pulpy solids. No, I’m talking about the pale liquid (also called tomato water) that tastes fresh and clean and sweet.

If you have bruised, soft or cracked tomatoes sitting on your windowsill, or you have several half-eaten ones in the refrigerator, then tomato broth is the perfect alternative to tossing them on the compost pile. (And you do have a compost pile, right?) Even better, see if you can find blemished tomatoes at a discount at your farmers’ market. Use the ripest tomatoes you can find, and steer clear of the roma varieties, which don’t have as much liquid in them.

Tomato broth is a cinch to make, and would be a fun kids-in-the-kitchen project. Take three large ripe tomatoes, and cut them into eighths. Drape a layer of cheesecloth in a fine-mesh colander or strainer and place that over a deep glass (not metal) bowl. Dump the tomatoes into the cloth-lined colander and sprinkle with a generous half-teaspoon of salt. Now here’s the fun part: Using your hands, smash and squeeze the tomatoes—really go at it to extract the liquid. (Alternately, you could run the tomatoes through a food mill and then strain through the cheesecloth, but that’s not nearly as much fun. But do not use a food processor or blender to puree the tomatoes; you’ll pulverize the seeds, which can be bitter.) Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth and twist to create a pouch, and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Repeat several times to get as much broth out of the tomatoes as you can. If you have time, leave the smushed tomatoes in the colander for several hours or overnight. One large tomato yields about one cup of broth, and you can extend this recipe to accommodate as many tomatoes as you have on hand. As the tomato broth stands, it will further separate into a clear golden liquid with the solids on the bottom. You can either stir to re-combine, or use just the clear liquid.

What to do with tomato broth?

■         Bloody Marys (hello!?). Or freeze in ice-cube trays and use that to cool a regular Bloody Mary.

■         Make a simple gazpacho with tomato broth and tiny diced cucumber and halved cherry tomatoes.

■         For a wonderful summer dinner: Grill firm white fish like sea bass or grouper. Serve in shallow bowls, on a bed of cooked basmati rice with a topping of chopped tomato, and pour 1/2 cup of tomato broth over each serving.

■         For a fun starter course, make tomato granita: Pour the tomato water into a shallow glass baking dish and place in the freezer. After 30 minutes, remove the pan and use a fork to scrape the ice crystals that form along the perimeter of the pan. Replace in the freezer, and continue this freezing-and-scraping process to create an icy slush. To serve, spoon a small scoop of the tomato granita into a chilled martini glass and dress with a basil sprig.

More about our guest blogger, Bryn Mooth:

Bryn is an experienced, energetic and creative writer/editor focused on inspiring people to eat locally, cook simply and enjoy healthy lifestyles. She writes the Midwest-based food blog, where she shares recipes and kitchen wisdom and explores regional foods and producers. Find her on Twitter as Writes4Food.

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  2. By Jamie Breuer | October 27, 2014

    This simple idea has been a God-send! I freeze it so I have it on hand when I want a taste of summer during the winter months. Thank you for sharing this!

    This is GREAT news! Thank you for sharing, Jamie.
    Have a wonderful week. :)

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  3. By ellen granum | November 13, 2014

    can tomato broth be made using canned tomatoes?

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    • By molly | November 20, 2014

      Great question, Ellen! We asked Bryn, who authored this guest post, herself and here is how she answered:

      “I would say no, tomato broth can’t be made with canned tomatoes. Fresh is {key}. I mean, technically you *could* just drain canned diced tomatoes … but you wouldn’t have that fresh, intensely summertomato flavor. “

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