Tomato Mary is a recipe that hails from my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden. Seems as though it would be the perfect pick-me-up to serve these loved ones after their arduous trip. Because we’re absolutely COVERED UP in tomatoes from our garden, I was thrilled that I can use up a passel of tomatoes at one time (Tomato Mary calls for 10).
You can’t beat the ease of this thing. First you core and dice the tomatoes and dump them into a large kettle. Then add the leaves from a couple of celery stalks (not the celery itself; just the leaves), onion slices, a bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, and salt. This simmers on the stove for 30 minutes. After it cools, pour the tomato mixture into a blender container. Pulse until the ingredients are pureed and the liquid thickens.
You’ll be staggered at the rich, thick juice—far more flavorful than anything canned you can purchase. This vibrant, nonalcoholic drink can be seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and a squirt of hot pepper sauce.
10 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 bay leaf
2 shoots celery leaves
2 slices sweet onion
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool. Pour into blender container; pulse for as long as necessary to make a puree of the vegetables. Seal in sterilized pint jars or refrigerate as long as 5 days. Serve in a tall glass; garnish with a celery stick or sprig of herbs.