How To: Tomatoes
|March 30, 2012||Posted by Melissa under Cooking, Produce|
We’re fortunate to have a variety of tomatoes grown in Florida, from round field and heirlooms to grapes and cherries. There are a few rules which apply to all varieties, and these tips can keep your tomatoes tasting field-ripened.
- Selecting/Buying – Visually check for cuts or holes in tomatoes, but use your nose to determine if a tomato is ripe. Gently apply pressure to make sure it isn’t mushy, but use care so as not to bruise it.
- Storing – NEVER NEVER NEVER refrigerate a whole tomato. Period. There’s a flavor enzyme in tomatoes that starts to break down under cooler temperatures. Storing in the fridge stops the ripening process and makes the flavor fade. Once cut, though, keep a tomato in the fridge for no more than two days for optimal fresh flavor. You can freeze whole tomatoes, but they need to be peeled after thawing. (These would be best in sauces rather than as fresh.)
- Peeling/Deseeding – Some recipes call for peeled and/or deseeded tomatoes. These are easy to do! To peel a tomato quickly (and I wouldn’t try this on grape or cherry tomatoes!), score the the base of the tomato with a little “x.” Place in boiling water for 20 seconds or so. Remove and put in ice water, and the skin will peel away easily. To deseed a tomato, cut the tomato in halves and gently squeeze the tomato or scoop out the liquid. You can reserve this for later if you like to flavor soups or salad dressings, or to mix in veggie juice.
Now…get cooking! Need an easy recipe to inspire you? Try this delicious and easy Tomato Linguine Sauté.
How do you like to prepare tomatoes?