Tomatoes are available all year around, but in the summer, they truly take on the “fruit” aspect of their personality. Sweet, juicy, and popping with flavor, there is not much better than a ripe summer tomato, still warm off the vine. When I was a kid, my dad and I would stand next to our tomato plants, eating the tomatoes whole like apples. Sometimes we’d add a sprinkle of salt or spoonful of mayo, but a summer’s tomato didn’t really need it. Bursting with the flavor of the sun, it packed plenty of punch on its own.
That’s why in the summer I look for every excuse to enjoy tomatoes by the bowlful – including my favorite juice of the moment. It’s made with just three ingredients – tomatoes, cucumber, and red bell pepper. If I’m in the mood for a spicy kick, one more ingredient, a clove of garlic, rounds out the savory quality.
While tomato juice might put one to the mind of old school V-8 style juices, banish that thought from your mind. Unlike those bottled tomato juices, which felt thick and gluggy in the throat as if you were drinking tomato soup, this one is light and refreshing. On a muggy July day, it’s a tasty way to quench your thirst – sweet enough to be delicious but not cloyingly so.
While tomatoes are at their yearly best, I recommend grabbing a few off the vine or from your neighborhood farmers market and trying it for yourself.