A beautiful, fresh tomato from the garden is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. But fresh tomatoes can be awfully hard to peel. If you're using your garden tomatoes in sauces, bruschetta, or sandwiches, keep the skins from spoiling the dish with these six easy steps.
1. Wash the tomatoes and remove stems, if present.
2. Using a paring knife, cut an X on the bottom center of each tomato.
3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and place it on the counter near the stovetop. Bring a pot of water to full boil over high heat. The pot should hold enough water to cover the tomatoes, a few at a time, and give them some room to move around. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water.
4. After 20 seconds, or as the skin begins to peel at the edges of the X, remove the tomatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon and immediately drop them into the ice bath. Boiling longer than necessary will result in tomatoes that are partially cooked and thus soft and difficult to work with.
5. When the tomatoes have cooled completely, remove them from the ice bath and transfer them to a clean work surface. Gently hand-peel the skin from each tomato.
6. Finish by coring and cutting tomatoes as desired. If you want to seed a tomato, cut in half across its circumference and use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds.