Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of tomatoes. They’re just something that may never grow on me. I even found the tomato dish at Alinea hard to swallow. However, when I do find something that I actually enjoy that has tomato in it, I tend to really like.
In fact, my favorite soup of all time is my mom’s Vietnamese tomato soup (bun rieu). Another tomato-based soup that I’m fond of is salmorejo. Think of it as a thicker version of gazpacho. While in Spain, it was interesting to see that salmorejo was a lot more common than gazpacho on menus in the regions we visited.
A bowl of salmorejo was just what I needed a couple weeks ago when the weather reached 100 degrees. The acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar combined with the coldness of the soup was very refreshing. It was so refreshing that I wondered if I could emulate that satisfying feeling with a cookie.
The idea for a salmorejo cookie eventually devolved into a simple tomato cookie. I omitted the jamon so the cookie could be vegetarian-friendly and left out the egg as I felt a cookie is pretty rich to begin with. Another tweak I made was to substitute sumac for vinegar in order to add tartness without adding liquid.
One ingredient from salmorejo I wasn’t willing to part with, though, was olive oil. At the same time, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice butter for olive oil in the cookie dough. As a compromise, I made an olive oil powder to top the cookie by combining Spanish olive oil with tapioca maltodextrin. The result was a powder that turns back into a liquid once it hits moisture (saliva).
If I could do a salmorejo-inspired cookie again, I’d probably serve it frozen or add some peppermint extract to the dough (or perhaps both for an elBulli Mint Pond sensation) to add that extra layer of refreshment found in a cold soup.
Mise En Place
- Follow M.E.P. for the Momofuku Milk Bar corn cookie with the following substitutions and additions
- Corn flour => flour
- Freeze-dried corn powder => dried tomato powder
- 45 g dried tomato bits (about 1 cm by 0.5 cm)
- 30 g sumac
- Follow method for the Momofuku Milk Bar corn cookie with the following additions
- Add sumac and tomato bits with dried tomato powder