Monday, September 14, 2009

Peeling Tomatoes Tutorial

Tomatoes are one of the foods I cannot imagine living without, a feeling I shared with my mother. My mother died over 27 years ago but when I watch one of my boys enjoy a tomato I recognize her genes coming through. Julian has always loved tomatoes, when he was a toddler I would carry him in a hip carrier when we picked up our farm share and I always gave him a tomato to eat. The seeds all over my shirt always made me laugh and remember my mother. Sebastian is just discovering his love for fresh tomatoes this summer.

During the second world war my mother worked picking tomatoes on a farm. She told me when they found a fully ripe one they were supposed to eat them. Within a week she was the only person who still liked tomatoes. As she was picking she would hear, "Roz, over here," and she would be tossed another ripe tomato to eat. We used to eat them together and daydream that maybe I would get to do that one day...

With all her love of tomatoes the most my mother did with them was to cut them up for salads. Every time she did she always took a taste, ostensibly to make sure the tomato was good enough to serve. So my mother would never have made Tomato Basil Butter, or peeled one. Even so I didn't think to post the steps to peeling tomatoes in last weeks recipe, until a friend asked me how to do it. So here are step by step instructions on peeling tomatoes (the same steps can be used to peel peaches).

Peeling Tomatoes Step By Step

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wash the tomatoes, remove the stem and cut a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato with a knife (I use a serrated knife)

Drop the scored tomatoes into the pot of boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to loosen the skins

Once the skin has loosened remove the tomateos from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or mesh sieve, if you want you can drop them in cold water before placing on a cutting board. When peeling them for canning I don't bother with the cold water bath, if I want to stop the cooking I do use the water bath. See below how the tomatoes skin has moved back from the X cut into the bottom

Once the tomato has cooled enough to handle you can slip the loosened skin off of the tomato.

Remove and discard the peels.


  1. i love tomatoes....had them in my garden till my dogs decided they liked them and ate them they did the strawberrys, zucchini etc etc..that was the end of my kitchen garden!!!

  2. Thanks! I learned another new thing today.