This week’s posts are all about getting ready for Labor Day by planning and doing ahead. Today’s lesson on peeling tomatoes will come in handy for tomorrow’s Gazpacho recipe.
A tomato’s tough skin is purely utilitarian — handy for protecting it while growing and for travel, but its skin does nothing for a tomato’s flavor. And the texture of the skin is not altogether pleasant. Likewise seeds. Seeds do nothing for the tomato…except, of course, if you plan on using them to grow more tomatoes. From a culinary perspective, peeling and seeding tomatoes is not required, but strongly suggested.
To Peel and Seed Tomatoes
1. Bring a pot of water to an active boil. You do not need a large pot — just large enough to hold 2-3 tomatoes with enough water to cover.
2. Lightly score tomatoes at the blossom end — that is, opposite the core end — with a shallow and small “x.”
3. Using tongs or slotted spoon, lightly drop tomatoes into water for about 10 seconds taking care not to splash boiling water. Remove tomatoes and immediately run under cold water or immerse into a large bowl filled with ice and water. Your goal is to loosen the skin without cooking the flesh of the tomato. It happens quickly. If the skin is not loose, you can repeat for a few seconds. Repeat until all tomatoes are done.
4. With a sharp paring knife, remove core. Peel skin from tomatoes.
5. Slice tomatoes in half.
6. Do this over a bowl: Hold tomato half in one hand and with the index finger of your other hand, poke watery sack containing seeds. Poke until all (most?) seeds and tomato water is removed leaving just the flesh.
7. Using a fine strainer over another bowl, strain out the seeds and discard. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press out water. You now have wonderful tomato flesh with seeds removed plus tomato water.
If what you are are making needs a flavorful tomato liquid — like gazpacho or other tomato-based soup, save and use the tomato water. If you were just using the tomatoes to dice for a salad or guacamole, then you can discard the tomato water or save for another use — yet to be determined.
Here’s the rest of your do ahead Labor Day recipes:
Wednesday — My Handmade Gazpacho for a Crowd
Thursday –Couscous & Corn Salad
Friday – Green & Yellow Bean Salad
Saturday – Grilled Eggplant & Assorted Sweet & Hot Peppers
Sunday – A Lemonade Alternative: Lime Rickey
This week’s blog will be filled with great recipes to share with friends and family. It’s a good time to suggest they subscribe to the blog to save you the trouble of constantly emailing recipes. In the spirit of Labor Day — less labor for you!
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