If you’ve ever read a recipe that asks for tomatoes, peeled and seeded, you may wonder just how to do that. Taking the skins off (and the seeds out) is great when you’re making tomato sauce or tomato soup. Also when you want to freeze or can a lot of tomatoes from the garden, this tip will come in handy. I learned how to do this from Chef Susan Reid at NECI. As I learned, even though it sounds like it may be a pain in the butt, it is actually really easy, and the results are worth it. All you have to do is follow these six steps.
Don’t miss this Ultimate Guide to Tomatoes!
- ripe tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Meanwhile, core tomatoes and score a small “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes. I love my tomato shark when coring a lot of tomatoes.
- Add the tomatoes to the boiling water, working in batches if preparing more than five tomatoes, and let cook until the skin starts to curl back along the edges. [For garden ripe tomatoes this will happen in about the length of time it takes to whistle Yankee Doodle two times.]
- Transfer the tomatoes to the prepared ice bath with a slotted spoon. When tomatoes are cool, remove them from the ice bath with the slotted spoon.
- Peel the skins off the tomatoes with a paring knife.
- Cut tomatoes in half along the equator exposing seeds. Set a sieve inside a bowl. Squeeze tomato seeds out into the sieve. The juices will collect in the bowl below. It may be necessary to poke the seeds out with your finger to get them all out. Press any juice out of the seeds, and discard seeds and skins. The juice in the bowl can be used in recipes, canning or in place of vegetable broth.
- Chop tomatoes as desired.