If you have a bunch of fresh tomatoes you need to peel and seed, check out our method as how to peel a tomato easily!
When you’re using fresh, rather than canned, tomatoes for pasta sauces, soups, and other recipes that you might typically use canned tomatoes for, you’ll want to peel them. Removing the tough outer skin and the seeds inside just leaves the juicy, aromatic flesh. That’s perfect for reducing in a pan and using your fresh tomatoes just the same way as you’d use canned!
Why You Should Peel Tomatoes for Sauce
Your favorite brand of tinned tomatoes probably mentioned that they’re peeled on the label. That’s because tomato skins can toughen and break apart during cooking. You end up with weird little floating bits of tomato in your sauce. Not ideal! They don’t cook down in the same way as your tomato flesh, and the skin can actually become bitter when it’s exposed to heat.
How To Properly Peel Tomatoes
- First, fill a large pot with water. Bring it to a boil.
- Cut an X shape in the bottom of each tomato. You don’t want to carve too far into the tomato: just deep enough to break the skin is plenty.
- Now prepare a bowl with some ice water in it.
- Place your X-marked tomatoes carefully into the boiling water. Allow them to simmer for a whole minute.
- When the minute is up, put your tomato in the ice bath.
When the tomato has cooled down enough for you to comfortably handle it, peel the skin off. It should come off easily by hand, in large sections starting with each quadrant of your X marking.
Here is your peeled tomato.
How To Seed Tomatoes
Now we’re going to remove the seeds from the tomatoes!
- First, cut your tomato in half along the equator. That means you don’t start with the stem end.
- Then gently squeeze your tomato to push the seeds out.
Now you have freshly peeled and seeded tomatoes ready for sauce, chili, soup, or any other recipe you can think of!
When tomatoes are in season, this is a great way to get as much use out of them as possible.
How To Use Peeled Tomatoes
- There are plenty of uses for peeled tomatoes. You could throw them straight into a pan and make Tomato Passata, as the tomato flesh will break down into the rich, red, tasty sauce we all know and love from the best Italian restaurants.
- You could also preserve your tomatoes. Peeled and seeded tomatoes are what goes into the cans that you can buy at the grocery store, right? You can put your tomatoes in a glass jar with an airtight lid. If you’re going to preserve your tomatoes, place them in the glass jar, and cover with extra virgin olive oil to seal in their freshness. You could even add a few peeled garlic cloves so they can blend flavors nice and early before going into a delicious pasta sauce.
- Another option is to roast your tomatoes. Tomatoes, as they have very soft flesh, don’t need long to soften and sweeten when exposed to the high heat of an oven. To roast the tomatoes, simply take your halved seeded tomatoes and place them on an aluminum foil-lined baking tray. Add some olive oil and your choice of herbs and seasoning. Salt, pepper, and dried oregano is a great way to bring out the best in your tomatoes. Roast and enjoy!
How To Freeze
We wouldn’t advise, however, that you freeze your peeled tomatoes. Tomatoes are very high in water and they will become slushy and mushy in the freezer. It’s best to just use your fresh tomatoes as they are!
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