Even though I absolutely loathe this heat, the one thing that I love about summer is the fresh tomatoes. If you’ve eaten home-grown tomatoes, you know what I’m talking about. They just taste better than the ones you can buy at the grocery. Why? I have no clue, all I know is they do.
I planted a garden last year, and again this year. This time I got it in the ground earlier so I would actually get something out of it. With the heat we had last year, I fought all summer just to keep my tomato plants alive. When they finally did put out, in the fall, the skins were like leather, so I peeled them. Oddly enough, the skins on my tomatoes this year were really tough as well. Peeling them can be a real pain, but my mother-in-law taught me a neat trick.
Take the tomato in one hand and with the other, use the flat of a paring knife and run it in horizontal stripes down the tomato from top to bottom applying just a light amount of pressure. When you do this, you will see a difference in color from before the after. What it’s doing is essentially the same thing as the other technique, just without a pot of boiling water: separating the skin from the flesh of the tomato. Core the tomato and skin will come off in hunks, chunks and strips. Awesome!
But I recently had several tomatoes I wanted to peel to make spaghetti sauce with. I didn’t care to stand around using Marie’s method so I did some research. The best way to do it with a bunch of tomatoes is with a pot of boiling water, a big bowl of ice water, a cutting board, a slotted spoon and a paring knife.
Core the tomatoes and lightly score and X on the bottom. Gently drop them into the pot of boiling water and remove them after 15 to 20 seconds and immediately dunk them in the bowl of ice water. If you’re using them for sauce or salsa, it won’t matter if they’re in the water a bit longer. But if you’re planning on slicing them, be sure and remove them quickly, they’ll get mushy. Blech! I had high hopes for this technique and it didn’t disappoint. The skins basically slid right off! Yay! It’s the best way to go if youv’e got an abundance of tomatoes you want to prepare for freezing or salsa or sauces. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you.