If tomatoes are in season you may want to opt for fresh over canned in recipes. And if you love tomatoes this is a great excuse to spend quality time with them. Wear an apron to protect your pretty dress from flying tomato chunks. If this is the first time you’re doing this your kitchen may end up looking like something out of the last scenes of Django Unchained. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go on YouTube and search for Django Unchanged shootout. WARNING: this is super duper violent so grab a stiff drink and your blanky.)
Peeling & seeding tomatoes
Grab an apron. This can get messy!
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil. While you're waiting, get your tomatoes ready. Make a little X in the bottom of each one with a knife.
- Prepare an ice bath (just like it sounds, a big bowl of ice water) and arrange your tomato troop.
- Place each tomato in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, just long enough to loosen the skin. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice bath where they'll chill for just a minute or so.
- The tomatoes should peel easily.
- Cut out the tough stems with a paring knife. Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters depending on the size you are working with. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Working over the sieve gently squeeze the tomatoes. Gently. I used my thumbs to scoop out the seeds.
- I only separate out my juice if I need to measure it. If not, I just keep it all in the same bowl. Fine bits of pulp have probably gotten caught in your strainer with the seeds.
- Using a spatula press the pulp through the mesh. You want all that yummy, garden fresh tomato. Be sure to scrape the pulp from the bottom side of the sieve into your bowl too.
- Voila! You've got your tomatoes and your juice. Recipes often call for chopped tomatoes. I like to put mine in the blender and pulse for just a few seconds, or according to the recipe instructions. It's much less messy than trying to chop them on a cutting board. Be careful not to over process in the blender.
- Skill Level: Easy
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