Are you ready for a taste of summer? For me, it is absolutely that time of year again when our Farmers Markets are back in full swing and I am ready to start filling my plate (and cup!) with sweet, in-season produce.
And the only thing better than buying freshly-picked fruits and vegetables is growing your own. Organic gardener extraordinaire Brie Arthur originated the concept of Foodscaping, where she encourages us all to “think outside of the [plant] box” and embrace the nutritional bounty of our very own backyards. Backyard-to-table, anyone? Brie will be giving a full presentation at our 70th annual Garden Symposium this April 24-26 but is unveiling a sneak peek today with two of her favorite heirloom tomato drink recipes.
Brie “the Plant Lady” Arthur is originally from southeastern Michigan and studied Landscape Design at Purdue University. She is the Foodscaping and Landscape Design correspondent for PBS’s Growing A Greener World, where she provides practical advice on integrating edibles in a traditional landscape. At the Garden Symposium she will lead two presentations, one on Foodscaping, and another on the Heritage Collection—featuring a history of Camellias throughout the world.
In Foodscaping 101, you’ll learn how to transform an ordinary landscape into a bountiful and organic oasis. Brie will share her favorite ornamental and edible plants for creating a low maintenance and beautiful Foodscape. She will also share her top ten favorite heirloom tomatoes, perfect for her two delicious recipes: Heirloom Tomato Juice and Brie’s Homegrown Bloody.
Here in Williamsburg our historic gardeners will transplant our tomatoes in May (if the weather cooperates), so they won’t begin fruiting until June—but it’s certainly never too early to be ready with a recipe. Did you know in the 18th-century tomatoes may have been referred to as “love apples” for their alleged aphrodisiac power? You’ve been warned!
Brie’s Heirloom Tomato Juice
Serve it fresh over ice, freeze for future parties, or “water bath” preserve to share as party favors and holiday gifts. Use in salsa, tomato soup, or pizza sauce recipes.
- Slice garden fresh tomatoes in quarters and add to food processor
- Add 1 Tbsp. fine salt and brown sugar, honey, or sorghum syrup
- Pulse for 10-15 seconds
- Pour through strainer, collecting juice in bowl
- Squeeze the tomato paste dry
Brie’s Homegrown Bloody Mary
Serve in a ball jar filled with ice, garnish with an olive and a lid for regular shaking
- 1/2 quart fresh tomato juice
- 2 Tbsp. dill pickle juice
- 1 Tbsp. grated fresh horseradish
- 1 Tbsp.Worcester Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. hot Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
- Dash of freshly ground pepper
- 1 shot of vodka or gin for added spirit
Follow along with Brie Arthur on briegrows.com.