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Heirloom tomatoes ith fragrant anise herbs, olive oil, tomato water by Executive Chef Jason Bangerter.
6 cups rough diced ripe heirloom tomatoes
½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
¼ teaspoon sliced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ripe cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Basil, fennel, anise hyssop and or any fine herbs and their flowers in your garden
Extra virgin olive or cold pressed canola oil
Pinch of kosher salt to season
Make the Tomato Water
In batches, rough chop the tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic and salt in a high-speed food processor. Place a colander in a large bowl and line the colander with 3 layers of cheese cloth, cut large enough to hold the entire tomato mixture once chopped. Pour the rough chopped tomato mixture into the prepared colander. Bring the cheese cloth corners together and tie with butcher’s twine to create a sack. Place the bowl into the refrigerator overnight to allow the tomato water to extract through the cheese cloth lined colander into the bowl beneath. Do not squeeze the sack, allow the water to extract naturally with gravity. At the restaurant we have the luxury of a walk in refrigerator with plenty of space. We tie the sack to a shelf in the walk in and hang the sack over a bowl to catch the tomato water. Store in the refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Although we’re only using the tomato water in this recipe, don’t let the leftover, roughly chopped tomatoes and basil go to waste. Simply add the tomatoes to a sauce pan along with ½ a cup of olive oil and stew the lot on low for 20 minutes. At the end you’ll have a quick and easy tomato sauce for pasta or another use.