St. Patrick’s Day is usually marked with excess consumption of green beverages and heavy meals.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday and stay healthy. Last week I taught a class featuring healthy St. Patrick’s Day green recipes, including a potato and cabbage soup and a green bloody Mary made with green tomatoes and tomatillos.

Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes with a husk, but they are not tomatoes at all. That's why you will rarely find them near the tomatoes in the produce department. These small fruit are actually a cousin of the gooseberry. When picked early, tomatillos tend to be tart and have a slight acidity, which makes them perfect for a drink such as a bloody Mary. Green tomatoes are also easy to find this time of year because it is still cool and tomatoes need heat to ripen on the vine.

After all of that green beer and other Irish-inspired drinks, I think this green bloody Mary is exactly what you'll need. You probably already have many of these ingredients, such as horseradish, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. If you'd like to skip the vodka, use vinegar or seltzer water. You can prepare the base up to two days in advance.

ZE'S GREEN TOMATO BLOODY MARY

Yield: about 6 servings

Ingredients:


1 pound tomatillos, quartered with husk removed
1 cup diced green tomatoes
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus a few slices for optional garnish
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces vodka or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 4 ounces water
fresh cilantro leaves and stems
3/4 teaspoons green hot sauce, optional
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch celery seeds
4 celery sticks
sliced crisp bacon, optional

To make base:

Combine all vegetables (except cilantro), lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt in a blender and process until smooth about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

To make cocktail:

Muddle in a cocktail shaker 2 sprigs of cilantro and combine with vinegar/water combo or vodka, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire, celery seeds and juice of a wedge of lime. Fill shaker halfway with ice and stir until shaker is cold, pour the base and cilantro mixture into serving glass and garnish with celery stick and optional bacon.

 

Ze Carter is a food columnist for the Daily Commercial. Email her at zecarter12@gmail.com.