Tomato Sorbet

Tomato sorbet is an unexpected, yet welcomed dessert in the height of summer. Any tomatoes can be used, from yellow beauties shown here to deep red heirlooms.

A cocktail glass with a scoop of summer tomato sorbet and a sprig of basil for garnish.

Summertime and the living is…lazy. For most of us, anyways, it’s easy to let our actions—or lack thereof—and our expectations become a little lax this time of year. This was never the case with Jean-Louis Palladin, the late and much-beloved chef of The Watergate in Washington DC and Palladin in New York City. Even in summer, he was full of sophisticated, and, at times, quite mischievous surprises. Like this tomato sorbet recipe. Despite its unexpected and complex taste, the dish itself is sheer simplicity, which means those of us without restaurant staff can still pull off this little act of hijinx.–Jean-Louis Palladin

LC You Say Yellow Tomato, I Say Red Tomato Note

Though this tomato sorbet recipe is stunning when made with yellow beauties, as Palladin instructs, you can make it with any summer stunner, heirloom or otherwise, in any hue. You can also decide for yourself whether you wish to make the accompanying colorful coulis.

Tomato Sorbet

A cocktail glass with a scoop of summer tomato sorbet and a sprig of basil for garnish.
Tomato sorbet can be made with any tomatoes that you desire, or have on hand. This stunning dessert adds lemon, basil, and sugar to make a fresh and bright dish.

Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 40 mins
6 servings
170 kcal
5 / 2 votes


For the sorbet

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pounds yellow tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Small sprigs of basil (optional)

For the coulis (optional)

  • 1/2 pound green tomatoes peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 pound red tomatoes peeled and seeded
  • Sugar to taste


Make the sorbet

  • In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the sugar, water and tomatoes and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and place in an ice bath to cool. Transfer the cooled tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and purée. Add the lemon juice and pulse to mix.
  • Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a resealable container and freeze.

Make the coulis (optional)

  • Place the green tomatoes in a blender or food processor and purée. Add sugar to taste. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Repeat with the red tomatoes and sugar.
  • Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and chill.

To serve

  • Mound the tomato sorbet in the center of individual serving dishes and, if you choose, garnish with a tiny sprig of basil and spoon a pool of coulis on either side.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 170kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 42g (14%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 43mg (2%)Potassium: 571mg (16%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 36g (40%)Vitamin A: 560IU (11%)Vitamin C: 33mg (40%)Calcium: 29mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Originally published August 27, 2010


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