While most tomatoes get eaten with their peels on in salads at my house, sometimes you want that peel off. You'll need to settle in for a peeling session if you're canning tomatoes, for example, or if you'd like a more elegant presentation, without bits of peel floating around, in cooked dishes. Whatever your reason, here are two easy ways to peel tomatoes.
First, firm tomatoes can be simply peeled with a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife just like any other vegetable. You tend to lose a bit of tomato flesh with this method, but it's a good one if the tomatoes are firm and few.
Second, if you're peeling softer tomatoes or have a lot of tomatoes to peel you'll want to blanch them, which can be done thusly:
- Cut a small "x" just through the thin skin on the bottom of each tomato.
- Dip the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds or put them in a large bowl, pour boiling water over them, and let them sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Lift or drain the tomatoes out of the hot water and quickly dunk them into ice water to stop them from cooking or softening too much.
- Be amazed by how the peel just slips off each tomato.
For photos of how this is done step-by-step, see How to Peel Peaches (the method is exactly the same!).