How to prepare tomatoes

How to prepare tomatoes
Yes, I know you will say to me: why peel tomatoes? The answer is very simple: it's much better, gives a better texture, softer in the mouth.

The skin is tough, adds nothing to the taste (and you will have noticed that commercial tomatoes have practically no taste), and finally it's there (on/under the skin) that the awful chemical products that the fruit receive during growth, are concentrated (treatments, pesticides, etc...).
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Last modified on: June 6th 2012

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For 4 tomatoes, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 2 tomatoes 4 tomatoes 8 tomatoes 12 tomatoes
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
39 min.1 min.40 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 10 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Boil a large pan of water, and prepare a large bowl of cold water (the kitchen sink, half filled, is fine).

Stage 2 - 5 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Remove the small green stalk from each tomato (if there is one).

Stage 3 - 3 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Then with a good knife cut a cross in the top of each tomato.

Stage 4 - 1 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
When water is boiling, put two or three tomatos in the pan. Leave them in for 20 seconds.

Note: If you leave tomatoes too long in boiling water, they will start to cook, and that's not the goal.

Stage 5
How to prepare tomatoes
The skin will split, starting from the top incision.

Stage 6 - 1 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Remove them with a skimmer or a fork, and plunge immediately into cold water. Continue with all tomatoes.

Stage 7
How to prepare tomatoes
Other way:

Joel Robuchon advised in one of his recipes to avoid plunging tomatoes in water (because it removes some of the taste), but instead to stick the fruit on a fork and turn it above a gas flame. It works well.

Stage 8 - 3 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Remove tomatoes from cold water, peel off the skin with a knife discard it.

Stage 9 - 5 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
With a knife remove the green and hard core of the tomatos ("the bone"), and discard it. The tomatoes are ready to be used, in a tomato tart for example.

Stage 10 - 2 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
If you want only tomato flesh: cut them in four.

Stage 11 - 5 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Then cut each quarter, from top to bottom, exactly as if you were tracing a "C" with the knife blade.

Stage 12 - 5 min.
How to prepare tomatoes
Discard the intside of the quarter, and remove any remaining seeds.

Stage 13
How to prepare tomatoes
You should have made tomato petals, ready to be used just as they are or cut smaller, in a salad with garden herbs for example, or cooked in another recipe like the tomato preserve.
The tomato is a very delicate fruit that fears the cold. If you put it at the refrigerator, it will very quickly lose the little taste that it has (if it's a commercial tomato, which cannot compete with a home-grown tomato). So it's best simply to store them at room temperature.

According to the variety of tomatoes, and the thickness of skin, (home-grown tomatoes have thicker skins), it might be necessary to leave them in boiling water for a few seconds longer. In any case, never exceed 30 seconds, otherwise the tomatoes start to cook.

Some recipes suggest removing the core of the tomato before putting it into boiling water. I think this is a bad idea, because the water gets inside the tomato and reduces the flavour even more.
1 or 2 days in the fridge, protected by a plastic film.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
80 Kcal or 335 Kj4 gr16 gr0 gr
4 %2 %2 %0 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
20 Kcal or 84 Kj1 gr4 gr0 gr
1 %<1 %<1 %0 %
Per tomatoes
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
20 Kcal or 84 Kj1 gr4 gr0 gr
1 %<1 %<1 %0 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
How much will it cost?
  • For 4 tomatoes : 1.60 €
  • Per tomatoes : 0.40 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
TomatoTomato: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Moussaka, Cheese and tomato tart, Tomato and courgette tart, Beans with tomatoes, Piedmont salad, ... All
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Your 2 comments or questions on this recipe
  • For me it is always proper, tomato skin is nothing for taste, and it is always more sophisticated and pleasant for your guests. You can also argue that on tomato skin stay all the chemical products and pesticides the tomato receive when it grow.
    The only moment where skin is "needed", is for picnic, with well washed tomatoes, but that's all I think.
    Posted by jh july 23th 2013 at 11:46 (n° 2)
  • Is it proper to peel a tomato for table use? I like mine peeled, my husband likes the skin on. What is proper when serving dinner guests?
    Posted by Mavmacaw july 23th 2013 at 02:39 (n° 1)
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