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Juice fresh tomatoes, then make Bloody Mary with a twist

Recipe: Cocktail features just-squeezed tomato juice

The Fresh Bloody Mary has a lighter, more refreshing texture than the classic cocktail, which uses canned juice.

The Fresh Bloody Mary has a lighter, more refreshing texture than the classic cocktail, which uses canned juice.

Debbie Arrington

Making fresh tomato juice is easy; all it takes is a blender and really ripe tomatoes.

Eight tomatoes on a plate
Use ripe round tomatoes to get the juice.

With this recent heat wave, tomatoes are nearly exploding with juice. Besides “juice tomatoes” bred specifically for their high water content, several common fast-maturing varieties work well for juice, too. That includes Early Girl, Ace, Celebrity and Better Boy. Round tomatoes tend to yield more juice than beefsteaks.

Some cooks suggest adding a few plum tomatoes for added body and thicker texture. Beloved for sauces, plum tomatoes such as Roma have fewer seeds and less water than other varieties.

Fresh tomato juice tastes and looks a little different than store-bought processed canned tomato juice. Fresh “squeezed” is not exposed to heat, so it stays a brighter, lighter, pinkish color, depending on variety. It also contains no added sugar or preservatives. Tomato juice can be frozen or used in tomato-based sauces, soups and other recipes.

Peeling the tomatoes is optional; the peel adds more color and fiber. The same goes for straining the juice for seeds.

What to do with that fresh juice? Try it in a Fresh Bloody Mary.

Cheers to ripe tomatoes!

Fresh tomato juice

Tomato juice in a blender
Just-blended juice in the blender.

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 pound very ripe tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Wash and core tomatoes. Chop tomatoes into quarters or eighths, depending on size. Put chopped tomatoes in blender or food processor. With the back of a wooden spoon, mash some of the tomatoes to release some juice. Process until tomatoes become liquified. Add salt and pepper to taste; pulse a few times to blend.

Use immediately or store in refrigerator.

Fresh Bloody Mary

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh tomato juice

3 ounces vodka

Juice of ½ lime

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste

Tomato juice in a clear glass with a celery stalk; tomato at left
Summer's top flavor in a cocktail.

1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

¼ teaspoon celery salt

Celery stalks for garnish

Instructions:

In an ice-filled shaker, add all ingredients. Shake until blended.

Pour into tall ice-filled glasses. Add celery for garnish. Enjoy!

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RECIPE

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!