Few things taste better than fresh summer tomatoes. This winter, ditch the cans (for obvious reasons) and follow these six steps to have that vine ripe flavor at your fingertips for sauces, chili, stews and anything else your heart desires.
- Score: Using the tip of a sharp knife, make a small circle cut around the stem of the tomato. Make three to four additional cuts down the side of the tomato, starting at the edge of the circle cut and following all the way down to the base of the tomato. This will enable you to peel the tomatoes with ease in step four.
- Blanch: Place the scored tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until the scored areas begin to peel back from the tomato.
- Ice Water Bath: Remove the tomatoes from the pot and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. This will cause the skins to peel back even further.
- Peel: Remove the skins from the cooled tomatoes.They should come off with ease.
- Chop: Chop the peeled tomatoes on a cutting board.
- Package: Place the chopped tomatoes and tomato juices into a freezer safe container. I like to add a basil leaf or two but it's optional. Place the tomatoes in the freezer and pull them out anytime a recipe calls for canned, crushed or chopped tomatoes.
Preparing your tomatoes for the freezer takes a bit of time but it's well worth it!!