After cooking the entirely delicious Miso Flounder with Cucumber Noodles and Gingered Collards, we got excited to choose the next recipe…this post is about part of that recipe (see more next week): Cocktail Tomatoes (pg 280). Initially, we were a bit skeptical of this recipe, because how important could some refrigerator-preserved tomatoes be? Let’s cut to the chase- these ones are insane. They’re called cocktail tomatoes, not because they’re little or that they are served in a cocktail (although we definitely have plans to)- it’s because they taste of cocktail sauce- which we both love.
Two of our favorite flavors in these were the horseradish and the lemon zest.
This recipe isn’t difficult. There is little in terms of challenging technique, but this one has the potential to be tricky, because of the ingredients. First off, you need tasty tomatoes. We have to call out Boone Hall Farms again this week since they had some really good tomatoes (for February), which was a definite plus. I’m not a huge fan of grocery store tomatoes, so I mostly avoid them- Boone Hall is my go-to spot for tomatoes and they don’t disappoint, even in the winter. In the summer, they have some amazing tomatoes and even have pick your own in the fall- definitely, check them out.
Next, is the rest of the stuff- there are a fair number of ingredients in this recipe. So many spices, and stuff to go into it. I remember while we were making it that we thought, ‘surely all of this won’t matter’. It does.
Once we let these sit for a week, there was a flavor explosion.
We could taste everything that we put into the jars, and the change that happened over the course of that week sitting in the fridge was nothing short of magical.
We wanted to put these tomatoes into everything, they’re THAT good. We even had a conversation about the potential of canning these to make them shelf-stable when we can get the good tomatoes in the summer (I’m looking at you here, Reese…who is my canning/pickling friend over at Compost & Cava).
Basically, make these tomatoes now. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, make them anyway. They’re delightful and they’re designed to sit in your refrigerator for up to three months (if they last that long)! The Mister definitely has a plan to put these in some bloody marys, so I suspect we’ll be making another batch before too long.
We would definitely both pay money for the cocktail tomatoes because they’re good. So good that you want to get them as a gift- I would gladly accept these as a hostess gift. It took us about 30 minutes to make this batch. We followed the instructions and it made about 4.5 quarts of tomatoes- next time, I think I would double it, assuming we can find decent tomatoes out of season.
What do you think about tomatoes?