Friends, the weather is getting warmer and the vegetables are Happening. Very exciting. I'm not sure if you've been able to read between the lines and discern that I am not a Huge Vegetable Fan, but it's true. Sad to say, I have only really gotten into enjoying veggies in the last (covers mouth and mumbles) days years. At any rate, my challenge is to figure out ways to trick myself into eating a lot of vegetables. Soup is a great way, and now I can start expanding out into gazpacho, which is really nothing but veggies all blended together--super healthy, fresh V8.
Anyway, back at the first restaurant I worked in, the chef asked me to come up with a tomato sorbet to use as a garnish for some sort of Fish Deal he was doing. So, I said sure--after all, I had already conquered the horseradish sorbet, so it was all downhill from there. What I came up with is a spicy/citrusy tomato sorbet. As a matter of fact, if you don't actually want to turn it into sorbet, you can leave out the simple syrup, leave it kind of chunky and call it spicy gazpacho. Or, you can blend it to within an inch of its life and strain it to make either a sorbet or granita. It's your choice--call it soup or call it sorbet. Either way, it really is Quite Tasty.
At Least It's Not Horseradish Sorbet Tomato Sorbet
- 10 largish ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- juice of one lime
- juice of one lemon
- salt, to taste
- 2 small red onions
- 2 seeded jalapenos
- 1 seeded red bell pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne, or to taste
- 3 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
- 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
- simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
Toss everyone except the simple syrup into a blender and blend forever. You'll probably have to do this in batches.
Strain tomato mixture and add simple syrup until the egg test works. Although I generally went a little less sweet on this. The top of the egg would barely show up over the surface. Churn in your ice cream freezer. Because this has a bit less sugar in it than the "ideal" sorbet, I'd serve it pretty close to immediately. You can put it in the freezer, but you'll want to take it out to soften some before scooping. You can also add a little vodka to the mix to help keep it from getting too icy when completely frozen.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, just freeze this in a pan and then scrape it for a refreshing granita. Or, you can make the ghetto version of an ice cream maker--zip bag of tomato mix inside another zip bag containing ice and salt. Mash around for 20-25 minutes or so. I learned this from Marc over at [No Recipes]. Here's the post it came from. If you're interested in hearing about an almost completely foraged gourmet meal, do check it out. Great reading.
Play with the ingredients--add cucumber if you want. Add more citrus. Take out the "spicy," or make it more spicy. Here's the template:
- Put vegetables and some liquid in a blender
- Season to taste
- Strain out
- Add some simple syrup
And that's about the size of things around here today. I must go do some more packing. Sigh.