by Lori Yates, Foxes Love Lemons
Well guys, it’s here. We’ve reached the end of #FLLEpicThanksgiving, at least for this year. I’ve walked you through all of the components needed to make this year’s holiday dinner the best one ever. Except, what do you do before dinner? While heavy appetizers or too-strong drinks are a bad idea, you do need to offer something to keep the vultures out of the kitchen while you finish up dinner.
In my opinion, bloody marys are the perfect thing to fill that void. They can be relatively tame in alcohol (*depending on how you roll), and their garnishes can double as simple appetizer offerings. And I think that the savory flavor really whets people’s appetites for the amazing meal that is going to be served a little later on. You can even kind of think of it as a cold soup course, am I right?
While it’s easy to turn to a bottled bloody mary mix, those have never been my favorite. I’ve tried lots of varieties, and they just don’t do it for me. So instead, I make my own custom mix to my exact specifications. And it’s super easy to make a mix that fits YOUR exacting standards as well. Family full of horseradish lovers? Do that! Add some more! Some don’t like it hot? Just omit the hot sauce. Your call!
The one non-negotiable is starting with a big batch of roasted tomatoes. I reached for several packages of Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes. These cocktail-sized tomatoes have the perfect balance of mouthwatering sweetness and acidity. They’re fantastic in salads and for making simple tomato sauces. And oh yeah, perfect for bloody marys!
Simply cut these campari tomatoes in half and divide between a couple of baking pans. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast until the skins are all puckered and shriveled. Removing the tomato skins sounds tedious, but I assure you it’s not. After 45 minutes in the oven, the tomatoes are practically begging you to remove their skins. The skins get so shriveled that they kind of just hang off the tomatoes. All you need to do is gently pinch and remove them. It’s kind of fun actually! And if there’s a few little pieces of skin that you can’t pry off, don’t even worry about it. These tomatoes are going into your blender anyway.
Throw those roasted beauties into a blender, and you’re well on your way to the best bloody of your life. Add the various spices and seasonings to suit your own taste, and then use your big pitcher of delicious homemade bloody mary mix to keep those guests satiated and occupied while you finish up dinner!Print