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Andrew Zimmern's Tip For Delicious Tomato Sorbet

Chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern
Chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern - Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

It's easy to forget sometimes that tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. They often star in countless entrees and appetizers, from pasta with marinara sauce to a caprese salad. But it's their fruitiness that makes tomatoes a great choice for a dessert as well. They lend a certain brightness to an icy sorbet, which can be served alongside both savory and sweet dishes. There's even tomato ice cream, too.

Tomato sorbet may seem like something that only appears on restaurant menus, but it's actually fairly easy to make at home, too. The ingredients are straightforward –- red wine vinegar or lemon juice, salt, and tomatoes, of course. Some recipes include garlic for a more savory spin or sugar to enhance the fruit's natural sweetness.

Food personality Andrew Zimmern offers a great suggestion for creating the tastiest tomato sorbet, and it comes down to the kind of tomatoes you use. The variety of tomato you select doesn't matter as much as the ripeness of the fruit. As he says on his website, "the bigger the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes, the better."

Read more: The Ultimate Ice Cream Brands, Ranked

Ripe Tomatoes Are Key For Great Sorbet

A cup of tomato sorbet
A cup of tomato sorbet - Nataliia Kurylo/Shutterstock

For Zimmern, getting the tomatoes with the most acidity and sweetness for the sorbet means using the ones at the peak of their ripeness. The timing of getting fresh, ripe tomatoes will vary depending on where you live. If you live in the South, you may find suitable tomatoes as early as late spring. Those in the Northeast will probably have to wait until the summer months, but good tomatoes there may still be available into the fall.

If you want to try making the sorbet outside of the peak season, there are a few tricks you can try. You can add a touch more vinegar and a bit of sugar to the sorbet to improve the flavor of store-bought tomatoes. Roasting tomatoes will also intensify the tomato flavor. You could try combining the tomatoes with a splash or two of pineapple juice, which is both sweet and acidic.

Seasoning Your Sorbet

tomato sorbet on two spoons
tomato sorbet on two spoons - two_meerkats/Shutterstock

When making tomato sorbet, Zimmern likes to salt and drain the tomatoes in a strainer over a bowl first. This will concentrate the tomato flavor and you can use the leftover tomato water for other dishes. He also adds a bit of diced red pepper to the tomatoes along with a few pieces of fresh basil and tarragon to the sorbet. For sweetness, he relies on both sugar and corn syrup.

Feel free to experiment with flavors in your tomato sorbet. Try a bit of black pepper or cayenne to add some heat. A tablespoon or two of your favorite olive oil will give your sorbet some lusciousness and enhance the mouthfeel of the dish. The flavor combinations are only limited by your own imagination.

Your tomato sorbet will make a great addition to any meal. Use it as a palate cleanser between courses or serve it in a bowl of chilled gazpacho. Make it the centerpiece of a summer salad. And, of course, feature it as a dessert -– on its own and alongside such fruits as melon and strawberries.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.