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Working with Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the worlds most consumed fruit... eaten raw in salads and sandwiches, preserved by drying them or used in cooking the world over. This post shows some of the ways to prepare them.

Tomato types
Plum, vine or beef – commonly used for salads, to be roasted or grilled.
Cherry – small, bite-sized tomatoes, typically red or yellow.
Heritage – artisan produced, varying colours, shapes and more local/seasonal.
Tinned – perfect for stews, casseroles, sauces and cooking.
Sun-dried or sun-blushed – typically stored in jars submerged in oil. Sun-blushed are more plump and juicy than the dried variety.

Preparing
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Preparing

Slicing tomatoes
1. Firm tomatoes are best for slicing.
2. Use a serrated knife with a sawing action and not too much pressure to prevent them squashing as you cut.
3. Cut so that the first slice removes the eye of the tomato for the best cross-section.

De-seeding tomatoes
1. Quarter the tomato by cutting through the eye of the tomato each time.
2. Lay each quarter on the board, skin side down, and slice under the seeds from the tip towards the eye end.
3. Repeat with each quarter, saving the seeds and juice to one side.
4. This leaves you with seedless tomato petals and a separate pile of seeds.

NOTE:The seeds are still great for sauces, stews and casseroles. If you don’t have enough worth using immediately then stash them in a sandwich bag in the freezer, adding to them each time that you end up with more until you have enough to make good use of.

Skinning tomatoes
This is a classic method to end up with perfect concassé... a French term for peeled and de-seeded tomato dice. At SORTED we think it’s going a bit too far… but for completeness here’s how you do it.

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid, rolling boil.
2. Prepare the tomatoes you wish to skin by cutting a slight cross in the bottom, just piercing the skin.
3. Prepare a bowl of ice cold water next to your boiling pan.
4. Dunk the tomatoes into the boiling water and submerge them for 5 seconds.
5. Pick them out of the water and dunk straight into the ice cold bath.
6. Use a small knife to peel away the skin from the cross, leaving you with a firm, uncooked skinless tomato.

*continue as above to de-seed before dicing the flesh neatly into small squares.

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Working with Tomatoes

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