And now for a completely different, more modern take on consommé. (And no raft in sight.) Serve this bright tomato broth in clear glasses with just a small amount of tiny-diced fresh tomato, avocado, jalapeño, and cilantro. Fun and flavorful, it’s the perfect thing to serve at a summertime cocktail party.
5 pounds tomatoes (12 to 15 depending on size), coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
6 to 8 whole fresh basil leaves
12 to 15 whole fresh parsley leaves
10 or so grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar, more to taste
Put everything but the sherry vinegar in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. As the mixture heats up, it will separate or “break;” this is fine.
Line a fine mesh strainer with a double layer of wet cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a bowl and strain the broth though it. Do not press on the solids, but do let them drain for an hour or so to extract as much clear liquid as possible. (Sometimes we tie up the ends of the cheesecloth with twine and hang it above the strainer and to help gravity do its thing.)
Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of the sherry vinegar to start. Chill well. Before serving, taste and add up to another teaspoon of the vinegar and a little salt to taste.
You can keep this consommé refrigerated for 2 days before serving, but it will lose some of its fresh flavor by the second day.
Yields 2 quarts
>> ALSO TRY: BARBARA LYNCH'S TOMATO TARTE TATIN
Barbara Lynch is the Chef and owner of the prized Boston eateries No 9 Park, B & G Oysters, Menton and Sportello. Her recipes have been featured in many national publications such as Bon Appetit and The New York Times, as well as in her cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition. She shared this recipe with us after her demonstration at the Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival.