How to Cook Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are the third most widely consumed vegetable in the United States, lagging behind potatoes and lettuce. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of garden plants are tomatoes.

Peeling a Tomato

Many recipes ask you to peel a tomato, but it is not as simple as peeling an apple.
  1. Cut skin-deep "X" on bottom of each tomato. Place no more than 2 tomatoes at a time in saucepan of simmering water for 10 seconds.

  2. Remove with slotted spoon; plunge immediately into bowl of cold water for another 10 seconds.

  3. Remove loosened peel with paring knife.

    Remove loosened peel with paring knife.
    Remove loosened peel with paring knife.

Chopping Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The name says it all. Sun-dried are usually Roma tomatoes that have been left out in the sun until most of their water evaporates.
  1. Spray blade of chef's knife with nonstick cooking spray.

    Spray the blade of your knife with nonstick cooking spry to ensure an even cut.
    Spray the blade of your knife with
    nonstick cooking spry to ensure
    an even cut.

  2. Arrange sun-dried tomatoes in single layer on cutting board.

  3. Cut tomatoes into strips. Line up strips and cut crosswise into pieces of desired size. Spray knife as needed to prevent sticking.

    Cut the tomatoes into strips, and then cut the strips crosswise.
    Cut the tomatoes into strips
    and then cut the strips crosswise.

Seeding a Tomato

Next to peeling, the other maddening tomato preparation that most recipes call for is seeding.
  1. Cut tomato into halves. Remove stem. Scrape out seeds with spoon.

    Half the tomato and then scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
    Half the tomato and then scoop
    the seeds out with a spoon.

  2. Alternate Method: Cut an "X" in the bottom of tomato. Hold tomato over bowl, sliced side down, and squeeze to remove seeds.

    You can also remove the seeds by squeezing the tomato as you would a lemon.
    You can also remove the seeds by
    squeezing the tomato as you
    would a lemon.

Learn all about the cucumber in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.
  • Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.