Boozy Tomatoes

October 8, 2010

Full disclosure: I tried this recipe for sheer entertainment value. I saw it in a magazine and thought, “this sounds completely freaking weird.”  Which of course, I took as a challenge. Bizarre recipe + my eyeballs = must do!

Well, unless it’s a fall recipe with meat and fruit in it, which is seven kinds of wrong, people!

But come on, this recipe had a cup of vodka in it.  As Ina Garten would say, “how bad can that be?”

And actually, these tomatoes were interesting. Herby, lemony, savory, a little boozy.  But truly? I couldn’t really see them working as an appetizer or a salad, which is how Donna Hay magazine suggests you serve them. An appetizer, maybe, if you used cherry tomatoes, but then again, who has the time to blanch and then skin a bunch of cherry tomatoes? I’d rather go to a Star Wars convention, in full Chewbacca regalia, than peel a kabazillion cherry tomatoes.

I ended up using the bulk of these for kitchen counter pasta, and they worked very nicely. I actually threw in about 1/4 cup of the marinating liquid, too, because I was feeling frisky.

Next time I make them, and yes, I think I’m going to, I think I’ll strain the marinating liquid (using one of those siphons that filters out the oil), puree the tomatoes and the sans-fat liquid, and create a cocktail. Stay tuned for that little freakshow.

Vodka and Lemon-Marinated Tomatoes

from Donna Hay magazine

serves 4

4 vine-ripened tomatoes

1 cup vodka

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 pieces lemon peel

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 sprigs oregano

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

sea salt flakes

Using a small, sharp knife cut a shallow cross on the bottom of each tomato. Cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute or until skins start to split. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl of iced water and allow to cool. Gently peel the tomatoes and place in a non-metallic bowl. Combine the vodka, lemon juice and peel, sugar, oil, oregano, pepper and salt and pour over tomatoes. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Serve as a side or in salads.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany October 8, 2010 at 5:24 am

Hmmmm….I may just have to try this. Me loves Vodka!!


Futureblackmail October 8, 2010 at 5:31 am

You had me at Boozy.


Winn October 8, 2010 at 7:21 am

That was my line. ;)

I agree; they just go together. It would make a great cocktail too.


Stephane October 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm

mine too, Winn! ; )


Justine October 8, 2010 at 6:12 am

Oooh…I don’t think you can go wrong with this one. 1. Donna Hay recipe 2. Vodka – hello??!

I once saw a cocktail party appetizer where you leave cherry tomatoes for the guests to dip into vodka and then a little course salt. Elegant and simple, especially when you can display each item in martini glasses. Mmmm….


grace October 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

oh ina. how bad can it be indeed? i got a chuckle out of that line–thanks for that, and for an interesting twist on maters!


rebecca @ altared spaces October 8, 2010 at 7:50 am

You, frisky??!


BigLittleWolf October 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

This morning? I’ll take the boozy, with or without the tomatoes. ;)


girlichef October 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

I’m all for turning them into a cocktail. I mean…looking at them, I can just imagine wanting to crush them and slurp the booziness out anyway, so… ;)


SuziCate October 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

You sold me on the vodka! But I am waiting for the next freak show becaue I like the idea of drinking it! I mean tomatoes and vodka…how bad can that be?!


Jen October 8, 2010 at 9:12 am

This looks fantastic! I so want to try it and I can’t wait to see the cocktail you come up with. Yum!!!!


Mrs.Mayhem October 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

The lemony savory tomatoes sound yummy! Admittedly I’m not a great cook, but what is a siphon that separates out the oil? Where can I find one of these magical kitchen tools?


Carol October 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

So if these tomatoes are an appetizer or part of a main dish, what beverage do you serve with dinner? Would it be a white or red wine? Or something stronger? Would you provide a sober person to guide your guests to their more comfortable seats after dinner? And be prepared to cover them with blankies when they doze off?


cca October 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

cant wait for that freakshow cocktail!


Melissa October 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I love when you try bizarre recipes. But I don’t think I have the energy to try. Me = lazy. Lazy-ish, at least. :)


Kelly October 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I’ll just take the lemons and vodka, okay?


TKW October 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Mrs. Mayhem: It’s called a fat separator, and you can get them at any online cooking store–mine is from Williams-Sonoma.


Mindy October 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

They’d make a mean addition to a tomato-vodka sauce!


Rudri October 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Vodka? On a Friday afternoon. I’m in.


Phoo-d October 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Wow! Those are some really boozy tomatoes. I may have to wait until next tomato season before indulging but I’m thinking a tomato basil martini with the ‘leftover’ juice would be awesome.


Heather October 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Now this is my kind of tomato salad! perhaps a little fresh mozzarella to jazz it up a bit. Oh, and of course some dipping bread on the side. Ok, now I’m drooling!


Sherri October 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Your titles for your posts get me every time…. “boozy tomatoes”… love it……. This is definitely along the lines of the meal version of a bloody mary or some fancied up martini…..


Aging Mommy October 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Kind of like a bloody mary on a plate :-) I wonder what can be done with some humble vegetables, I doubt anything could ever get me to swallow a brussel sprout but any other boozy vegetables sounds good :-)


jc October 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Is there any left?

I’ll lick the bowl.


The Curious Cat October 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

These do sound curious indeed…not sure about these…though on the tomato and booze front – got my hands on some clamato juice yesterday so we all had Caesars….those are delicious! xxx


Meister @ Eat This Neighborhood October 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm

You are absolutely, utterly delightful, and your blog is a joy to read. Boozy tomatoes!! I love it.


chiara October 9, 2010 at 4:42 am

I was going to suggest to use them for bloody marys =)
making pasta with them sounds great too, my dad’s pasta alla vodka is one of my favorite recipes, so I’m sure I’d like this one too!


elizabeth October 9, 2010 at 4:59 am

Yes, I don’t see these as an appetizer either, but they do look pretty damn tasty. With pasta it would turn into a cream-less pasta alla vodka.


franticmommy October 9, 2010 at 5:34 am

You had me at Vodka. Love your new site!


paula October 9, 2010 at 5:37 am

I like the way you think–coming up with ideas on how to make a magazine recipe really work for your own tastes and time constraints. Pasta idea sounds best to me.


Barbara October 9, 2010 at 6:45 am

Not so freaky, actually. I’d be in line for that drink….kind of a Bloody Mary.


M @ Betty Crapper October 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

What’s wrong with a Star Wars convention? I thought I heard somewhere you were dressing up as Chewy for Halloween. No?


Bryan October 9, 2010 at 7:38 am

Star Wars Convention made me laugh! I love the idea of boozy tomatoes


Bonnie October 9, 2010 at 10:29 am

This sounds a little like a bloody mary with big lumps!! Great presentation. I’d have some of the “juice” as a cocktail.



Camilla October 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Trust Donna Hay to booze up tomatoes. They look cute but I’m with you….no way in hell I’d peel cherry tomatoes!


Alexandra October 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm

You know what? I can see doing a labor of love and blanching/peeling 30 or so chery tomatoes for a brunch, can’t you?

Like I said, it’d be a labor of love.


ck October 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

How about I do several shots of vodka while looking at a tomato? Does that count?


theUngourmet October 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I haven’t seen a recipe like this one. I’d love to try it but I’m with you on the blanching and peeling. So not fun! Heirloom tomatoes would be nice too. Unfortunately, I only salvaged 3 tomatoes this year. They all ended up with some kind of strange mold. :(

The cocktail sounds like a brilliant plan!


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon October 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm

These babies have bloody mary written all over them. What time is happy hour?


Jamie October 10, 2010 at 2:51 am

I love seeing people trying recipes only because they are intrigued by a strange recipe! Go, girl! And I do think this would make the perfect cocktail!


Emily Z October 10, 2010 at 8:24 am

Well, I love booze, and I love tomatoes, so this sounds like a winner of a dish to me! I like the cherry tomato idea as a appetizer for dinner with friends or as a dish at a party where everyone is bringing a different dish to nibble on. I have lots of friends who love booze so I am sure they’d like this as well. ;)


~Laura October 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

OK, I love vodka and I like tomatoes. However, I’m not getting what the vodka does to the tomatoes. Is it acting as an acidic to break them down? Maybe I’m analyzing too much and I should just eat the vodka and the tomatoes. Maybe in that order.


subwow October 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I am too lazy to make this as you know. BUT I kept on thinking ever since I saw this post how wonderful it would have been to make Bloody Marys out of these! ;-)


Maria October 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm

That still counts as a veggie serving, right? Even with the vodka? I like it!


Leslie October 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Hurry! I just decided that little freakshow is exactly what I need to get through tonight and two more days of reunion events. I’m already running on empty! Thought the free booze would get me through, but now I’m dreaming of a TKWed bloody mary.


Article Submission July 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

FNWzSE Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Really looking forward to read more.


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