Clarifying tomatoes

Their water makes a flavorful backdrop for summer entrées

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Grilled Salmon in Tomato Water

Blend mayonnaise with basil to top salmon in tomato broth.

James Carrier

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Grilled Salmon in Tomato Water

There's a window of time in August when those tomatoes in your garden that have been poking along in the green stages for months suddenly ripen all at once and you have a rare problem - too many tomatoes on your hands. Here's a beautiful way to clear it up: juice them.

When you purée tomatoes, then strain them through cheesecloth, the red pulp stays behind; what drips through (slowly) is a clear broth that looks like water but tastes like the pure fruit. This tomato "water" is a perfect complement to great summer flavors such as seared scallops on steamed artichoke hearts, grilled chicken breasts topped with chunky black olive tapenade, or our simple grilled salmon with fresh peas.

Whatever accompaniment you choose, tomato water lets its colors shine through but packs a wallop of supporting flavor.

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