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 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 it 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!
- 3-1/2 pounds Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
- ½ cup water, plus additional if needed
- 2-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 16 ounces vodka
- Celery stalks, cooked cocktail shrimp, lemon wedges, olives, and/or Village Farms True Rebel Mix tomatoes, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut tomatoes in half and divide between two rimmed baking pans. Drizzle tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Use hands to toss until all tomatoes are coated in oil, then turn tomatoes so cut sides are facing down. Transfer pans to oven and bake 45 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft and tomato skins are shriveled. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.
- Carefully pull skins off tomatoes and discard. Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated juices to blender. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, dill, lemon juice, horseradish, celery seeds, lime juice, sriracha, paprika, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings and spices to suit your taste. Transfer mixture to covered container or jar and refrigerate until chilled, or up to 5 days.
- Fill 8 pint glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka to each glass; top with Bloody Mary mix. Stir well and serve with desired garnishes.
Epic Thanksgiving Recipe Schedule:
- Sunday, October 30th: Epic Thanksgiving Overview
- Monday, October 31st: Apple, Bacon + Fennel Stuffing
- Thursday, November 3rd: Aged Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- Monday, November 7th: Cajun Turkey with Orange-Oregano Gravy
- Monday, November 14th: Sautéed Green Beans with Tomatoes + Crispy Parmesan
- Thursday, November 17th: Hard Cider Cranberry Sauce
- Sunday, November 20th: Cocktail Hour! Roasted Campari Bloody Mary
Other Thanksgiving Ideas:
- Cranberry-Vanilla Gin Spritzer
- Autumn Cheese Board
- Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Crostini with Whipped Feta & Honey
- Roasted Turkey with Bourbon Apricot Glaze
- Fruit & Nut Brussels Sprout Slaw
- Corn Casserole with Cheese
- Lemon & Maple Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Autumn Celebration Rice Salad
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate & Parsley
- Spiced Sweet Potato Rolls with Bourbon Honey Butter
Use Those Leftovers:
- Thanksgiving Leftover Waffles
- Turkey & Gnocchi Arrabiata Soup
- Use up leftover mashed potatoes in a loaded mashed potato bake casserole!
- Ham and Potato Soup, if you also made a ham for Thanksgiving and have leftovers
Making one of these recipes? Please let me know by sharing a photo on social media with the hashtag #FLLEpicThanksgiving!
I’m so thankful for each and every person that stops by this blog, whether it’s once in awhile or every day. This little corner of the internet has allowed me to change my life and create a career path for myself that brings me so much joy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Village Farms. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.