cilantro-salted tomatillo green bloody marys | bittersweet seasons of change

I love the challenge of taking any vegetable in my garden – at any stage in its life cycle – and turning it into a cocktail. The abundant amount of sunny, 75-degree days kept me donning shorts, pouring the rosé, and harvesting all of the kale, chard, herbs, edible flowers, tomatoes, and tomatillos my garden would spit out, well into mid-November. We have had the most record-breaking, unseasonably warm weather this past month.

Before I share this {very} late fall recipe, I have to say a few things.

From putting in well over 55 hours each week at the restaurant, to observing the backlash of the recent election, to pursuing creative opportunities on the side, some of which I can’t even share with you yet, I have felt devoid of creativity and inspiration. I’ve had great difficulty writing and pouring creativity into this space here. Even when I do get strokes of genius or breaths of innovation, I’m all-too-tired to put action to paper, recipe, or photo. It’s been quite the challenging year for many of us, I feel.

For both me and Steve, we can safely say that 2016 has been the “Year of Change and Secrets.” That’s actually a soft and easy way of describing it. There have been countless highs and lows. Steve and I got engaged, which was wonderful, albeit stressful with respect to timing. We’ve gone through three different executive chefs at work, finally ending up with one of our former, beloved executive sous chefs at the helm. We’ve also lost two of our long-term managers and haven’t realllllly replaced them, so our workload has been more intense.

green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora

And then there’s our side project, which we’ve been working on since April. Keeping it under wraps has been just as exhausting {and thrilling!} as all of the hours before and after work spent quietly building it. Once I can talk about it all, I’ll feel justified in my actions or, in some cases, the lack of them. For now, I simply seek out those moments, where I feel revitalized and recharged. It’s all I can do. I find them when I go for a long run, when I take a lengthy late-night drive, when I sit still in the darkness before the sun rises, and when I stay up late and watch the moon crest above my head.

Okay, I’ll be honest.

I don’t do all of the things I listed above every time I’m stressed. I want to do them, but many nights, it just doesn’t turn out like that. Take two nights ago, for example. I finished off a bottle of bubbles, impulsively booked two nights at a B&B I’d been dying to sneak away to, baked and consumed an entire pan of brownies, signed up for a marathon, and watched almost every Nora Ephron movie ever made. The next day suuuuuuuuuucked, and of course, I was needed at the restaurant to help Steve because he was having complications with his recent hand surgery.

And I couldn’t make it to the B&B.

green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & floraAre you ready for a drink by now?!

A couple weeks ago, I made something beautiful and delicious with the unfinished and the blemished in the garden. The tomatoes and tomatillos that lingered on the vine, long after their stems had browned, comprise these green Bloody Marys. We picked nearly five pounds of under-ripened vegetables during the first two weeks of November. Some wound up in green chili, mixed in salsa verde, or tossed into green juice, while the rest found their way into these timely tipples {and Steve, if you’re reading this, I said that word just for you}.

Tomatillos have a green, almost sour taste with a medium-bodied weight on the palate. Its flavor profile marries perfectly with fresh cilantro and tomatoes, so I knew that a Bloody Mary had to happen. And not just because I was nursing my election hangover at the time. Accentuated with bright notes from fresh cucumber, apple, and herbs, this Bloody Mary is “green” in a good way. Like a crisp, vegetal Grüner or a peppery arugula salad, it’s vibrant, tangy, and refreshing.green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora

 


green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late season tomatoes


  • 3 tomatillos, washed and husks peeled
  • 2 medium green tomatoes
  • 1/2 a medium cucumber
  • 1/2 a honeycrisp apple
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • salt, to taste
  • several cracks of black pepper
  • 3 ounces St. George Spirits Green Chili Vodka
  • 1 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
  • cilantro or parsley sprigs, for garnish
  • cilantro salt {see recipe notes}
  1. In a blender {I used my Vitamix}, combine the tomatillos, green tomatoes, cucumber, apple, lime juice, and cilantro. Start on the lowest setting and slowly increase speed to high, thoroughly blending all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Taste for balance, adding salt, a few cracks of black pepper, or more lime juice. Blend.
  3. Rim two cocktail glasses with cilantro salt {see notes below} and carefully fill with ice.
  4. Pour 1 1/2 ounces Green Chili Vodka and 1/2 ounce Yellow Chartreuse into each glass.
  5. Divide the Bloody Mary mixture between the two glasses and garnish with cilantro or parsley sprigs. You could even garnish with apple slices, cucumber spears, or pickled green tomatoes.
  • This recipe yields two cocktails but can be easily doubled.
  • To make the cilantro salt, combine about a 1/2 cup sea salt and a small handful of washed and dried organic cilantro. In a food processor, pulse until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Use on salads, in marinades, or in fresh salsa for an added flavor kick. It’s also great rimmed on margaritas.
  • You may make this recipe in advance and refrigerate before serving.

green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora

We grew about 25 tomato plants in our yard this past season, much less than our ambitious 42-plant garden last year. Sadly, 15 of our tomato plants on the perimeter of our yard didn’t fare so well. Our super nice, next-door neighbors sprayed their lawn with herbicides, which, unbeknownst to them, drained off their sloped yard into ours, killing all of the adjacent tomato plants. I have no hard feelings against them, but perhaps the decrease in our tomato plant population was a blessing, since we really didn’t have the time to devote to our garden this year.

What did thrive this year without much help from us were the hot peppers, our sungold tomato plants, and the volunteer tomatillos that popped up almost everywhere. With just a little water and a healthy dose of compost, we got just enough produce for several rounds of salsa, caprese toast, and tomato sauce. I’ll be dreaming of them until next summer.

I’ll be sharing more fall-themed cocktails in the coming weeks, pending I find the time for this creative space of mine. Lately, I’ve had a lot of fun with cider and amari and sherry. Maybe I’ll even share them with you before it’s time to talk rosé again!

Here’s hoping! 😉

green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora

green garden bloody marys with tomatillos + late-season tomatoes | bittersweet seasons of change | holly & flora

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7 thoughts on “cilantro-salted tomatillo green bloody marys | bittersweet seasons of change

    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      He is getting better day by day, thankfully. I know it has been a tough couple of months for him. And it was SO great seeing you over the holiday!! So many fun memories. Much love to you!!

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      Reply
  1. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Ugh, I feel you girl. It’s been a rough year, for sure. I can’t wait to find out what you guys have been up to, and I hope you can find some peace and a way to slow down in 2017. I feel like that’s been my mantra for YEARS now: “slow doooowwwwwwnn” I’m really working on it in regards to my blog for 2017, being very strict about how frequently I’ll post and whatnot. It feels good and it is making me even more excited to work on the posts I have planned, because I feel like I’ve given myself enough time to do them justice. Wishing you all the best!!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Clem

    Very nice recipe again ! Really nice job with the pictures on that one to. Good share of your feelings was really echoing mine.
    Really got inspired by your content, all the best for 2017.
    Ps: do that B&B

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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