One of my pet hates when eating tomato dishes is finding small pieces of skin. I grew up hating tomato skins in my food and I still hate it now! That’s because they always seem to get stuck in my mouth or my teeth and for that reason they can spoil a meal for me. It doesn’t matter if I love the flavour of a dish, the presence of tomato skins will ruin it for me.
I can sometimes cope with one or two pieces but when a dish is loaded with pointy pieces of curled up tomato skin – ugh – that’s a no from me! It seems to be particularly bad in soups, stews, and casseroles. All the stirring that goes into preparing these dishes ensures that the skins come of the tomatoes!
Up until recently I had tended to avoid cooking with tomatoes because of the skins. That’s because I thought that peeling tomatoes would be a time consuming and messy job.
But actually it is fairly quick and easy to peel tomatoes. All you need to do is blanch them by subjecting them to a boiling water bath followed by an ice bath. That being said I have found that some types of tomatoes peel more easily than others.
In my experience home grown tomatoes with nice soft skins are the easiest to peel. Blanching home grown tomatoes will result in skins that just slip right off without any effort. Smaller soft skinned varieties from the supermarket, such as cherry tomatoes, also peel very easily when blanched.
Larger supermarket tomatoes with a tougher skin will take a bit more effort to peel. The skin will still peel off when blanched but you might have to work at it a bit more to get it off.
Another tip that I have is to use a Pyrex glass bowl if possible. It seems that the Pyrex glass holds the heat better and blanches/scalds the skins more so that they peel off easier. I’ve found that using a Pyrex glass bowl is especially useful when trying to peel hard tough skin tomatoes.
How to Peel a Tomato (Blanching Tomatoes)
What you’ll need:
- Large heat proof basin/bowl (Pyrex glass bowl works best)
- Second large bowl filled with ice water
- Kettle of boiling water
- Slotted spoon
- Sharp knife
- Watch/kitchen timer
Using a sharp knife cut a small shallow cross in the bottom of each tomato that you want to peel*.
Place tomatoes into the heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over them.
Allow them to stand in the bowl of hot water for 2 minutes. You might see the cut in the skin extending or the skins starting to lift.
Using the slotted spoon, carefully transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of ice water and leave for 5 minutes.
Remove from the cold water and the skins will either just rub off with your fingers or they will peel off with a little coaching.
* If you forget to make a cut before you start don’t worry. Just make a small shallow cut near the bottom of the tomato and the skin will still peel off.
If you would like to see more handy hints for the kitchen check out the latest pins from my Kitchen Hints board on Pinterest!