Tomato Water Is A Refreshing One-Ingredient Meal Prep Staple

It's peak tomato season and the perfect time to enjoy all aspects of this wondrous fruit. While they are commonly served up in salads and sandwiches, ripe tomatoes are also great for a popular chef's trick. You may have seen tomato water on several menus, but with a little bit of effort, you can prepare this excellent ingredient yourself.

Delicious tomato water starts with fresh tomatoes blitzed in a blender or food processor. The resulting tomato pulp is then put in a chinois or another kind of fine mesh strainer and set over a large bowl to drain. And some folks also like to line the strainer with cheesecloth as well, to keep any tiny bits of tomato from ending up in the resulting liquid. Add a teaspoon of salt to give the draining process a boost. Leave your tomato mixture to drain for a few hours or even overnight in your fridge. It may be hard to wait this long, but it will all be worth it in the end. Tomato water is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in many different kinds of applications.

Tomato water works in dishes and drinks

Once you've got your tomato water, you've got a lot of options. It works well in a tomato vinaigrette or in a marinade, or used as a poaching liquid for fish or seafood. Tomato water will make a great addition to gazpacho or other chilled soups. You can even build up the flavor of the water during the draining process by adding fresh herbs and sliced shallots or garlic to the tomato pulp. Tomato water enhanced with basil would make a light sauce for pasta — a spin on tortellini en brodo, for instance. A tomato water infused with cilantro and jalapeño would be good in a salsa or a sauce.

Tomato water also makes the perfect base for a sorbet or a granita, which would be a cool, refreshing accompaniment to any meal. And this special liquid makes beverages better, too. A Bloody Mary made with tomato water would be lighter and more summery than one made with tomato juice. You could also use it in other cocktails, such as a tomato water margarita for example. The uses for tomato water are only limited by your imagination.