Little juicy red nuggets of spicy alcoholic flavour. I’m sure there are better things to pop in your mouth, but I can’t think of too many.
by John Pope on September 24, 2014
I have copied this recipe almost as-is from the wonderful Big Red Book of Tomatoes
by Lindsey Bareham. If you think that a 375 page book about nothing apart from tomatoes sounds like a bit of a dull read then clearly you underestimate this little red prince of fruits. I’m not going to spend paragraphs extolling the virtues of the tomato here, you’ll find plenty of other articles on this website that do that.
Vodka, on the other hand… let’s talk about vodka. No actually let’s not, or this would turn into a long convoluted essay on the merits of the grain spirit, instead of a simple recipe for a tomatoey delight. What is interesting to note is that while they definitely take in plenty of flavour the tomatoes do not actually seem to absorb very much alcohol. If you are looking for a boozy snack specifically for getting drunk, you had better stick to vodka jellies.
I don’t know the origins of this recipe, Lindsey cites it as coming from Louisiana. I’ve seen various different versions of it online, some omitting the tabasco, etc. and being just tomatoes and vodka, but none of them come close to this one in terms of balance and intensity of flavour.
Let’s get soaking
The original recipe calls for celery salt to be served for dipping, which works fantastically, but it’s also fun to experiment and offer a few choices, truffle salt and just plain course sea salt both work brilliantly. Just remember that double dipping is fine in private but frowned on in public.
- Cherry Tomatoes225 g
- Vodka150 ml
- Lemon juice1 tbsp
- Dry sherry1 tbsp
- Tabasco6 drops
- Worcestershire sauce1 tsp
- Fresh basil leaves3
- Dipping salts
Wash and dry the tomatoes, then prick them all over with a cocktail stick.
Mix together all of the remaining ingredients apart from the celery salt in a bowl.
Add the tomatoes, cover and chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
Scoop the tomatoes out of their bath, and serve them with cocktail sticks and the celery salt for dipping them in.
The great thing about this recipe is that when apart from the super yummy little flavour explosions that are the tomatoes, you are also left with a fantastic liquid, which you can either serve as accompanying shots, or use as the base of a great Bloody Mary.