Since I like to spend my free time gardening extensively, we also have some tomato plants in the garden every summer, where my junior can also let off steam. One day, while cutting back the tomatoes, I noticed that both, leaves and stems, smell extremely like tomatoes. Of course, these ingredients are not suitable for human consumption. So, I came up with the idea of making a hydrosol out of it to show the guest on the one hand that the plant can be used according to the "leaf-to-root" principle. On the other hand, I always find it very exciting how our guests react when you have a clear liquid and how much flavor, power and energy are in it, yet.
Put water with the stems and leaves in a kitchen blender and mix once until a smooth "puree" is formed. Place the mixture in a vacuum bag and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then mix the mixture together with the olive oil and add to the evaporating flask.
Attention: The mass must be distilled in two steps, as it foams very strongly due to the escaping proteins. In any case, use the foam brake.
For distillation, select the following settings: rotation to 60 rpm, water bath to 52 °C, the cooling should have at least an initial temperature of -3 °C.
For the first time distillation, it is recommended to approach the boiling point in 5 mbar steps from a pressure of 250 mbar. At a certain point, the liquid will foam very strongly at the beginning, so it is advisable to stay with the device so that the liquid does not escape from the flask. When the boiling point is reached and the process is running, the vacuum should be reduced rather slowly to an end point of 50 mbar. After distillation, the hydrosol must be enriched with the refining sugar for better viscosity. To take out the sweetness again, the hydrosol should be balanced with a little acidity. A white rice vinegar is best suited here. If a clear hydrosol is not necessary, lemon or lime juice can also be used here.
The hydrosol can now serve e.g., as a marinade for raw fish or as a vinaigrette for a creative dessert variation. We use the hydrosol as a refreshment before the main course along with small marinated tomberries, chamomile milk sorbet, flowers of nasturtium as well as tomato seed oil. The hydrosol is poured at the dish in front of the guest at the table.
Have fun while enjoying!