Now you may ask, “Why would you want to peel a tomato”?
The short answer is that tomato skin is often leathery. And, it’s my job as a chef to make the customers dining experience a pleasurable one.
So, for certain dishes (such as pasta sauce) the tomato skin just has to go. Hasta la vista, baby!
- Get a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Cut a cross into the bottom of the ripe tomato, just through the skin. This will give the skin a place to start coming off later on.
- This is where I give one of those ‘Please take care’ warnings. You need to cut the eye out from the top of the tomato in a wedge shape. I kid you not, in all my years as a chef and cookery teacher, I’ve seen more bloodshed at this stage of the process than a hospital emergency ward. If you are not very confident with a knife, do this on the chopping board. Always cut away from yourself.
- Carefully lower the tomato into the pot of boiling water, don’t drop it or it will splash you (Ouch!). Only leave it in for 5 – 10 seconds. If the tomato is a little under ripe and stubborn, you can leave it in the pot for 15 seconds at the most. Any longer and the flesh of the tomato starts to go mushy.
- Remove the tomato from the pot and place in iced water until completely cool. This process stops the cooking process instantly.
- The skin should now peel off easily by hand.
At this stage you can also cut the tomato in half and remove the water seeds if required. This method can be used on most varieties of tomato, provided they are ripe.