ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Blanching Tomatoes for Sauces and Salads

Updated on December 8, 2013
How to Blanch Tomatoes
How to Blanch Tomatoes

How to Blanch a Tomato

Cutting and peeling tomatoes can be a messy hassle, but leaving skins on when you're making sauces, soups, and salads can yield less than gourmet results. Luckily, preparing tomatoes for salads, homemade tomato sauce, or just simple dicing is easy if you blanch the tomatoes first.

Blanching tomatoes is simple. You only need a knife, a cooking pot, a bowl, water, and some ice. In just a few minutes, you can have expertly peeled tomatoes ready for your next recipe.

Prepare the Tomatoes

To prepare a tomato for blanching, simply remove the stem, if the tomato has one, cut out the stem core where it attached to the tomato, and cut a shallow "x" on the tomato's bottom.

Cut out the stem cores and cut an "x" on the tomatoes' bottoms.
Cut out the stem cores and cut an "x" on the tomatoes' bottoms. | Source

Boil Water

Next, pour several inches of water in your cooking pot. Because tomatoes blanch quickly, you only need enough water to blanch three or four at a time. Make sure you have at least enough water to cover the tomatoes, but filling the pot all the way is an unnecessary waste of energy. Bring the water to a light boil. Make sure the water is only boiling lightly - a rolling boil can cause the tomatoes to rupture and split open too quickly.

Prepare the Ice Bath

After placing the tomatoes in boiling water, prepare an ice bath. Pour enough water in a bowl to cover the tomatoes and fill the bowl with ice.

Source

Blanch Tomatoes

Once you have the ice bath read and the water is boiling, you're ready to get blanching. Make sure to lower the tomatoes gently, with a pair of tongs or slotted spoon, so they don't drop suddenly and splash you with boiling water.

Lower the tomatoes carefully.
Lower the tomatoes carefully. | Source
Source

Remove Tomatoes from the Boiling Water

It depends on the tomatoes, but they frequently only need to stay in the boiling water for about a minute. If you have large tomatoes or your water is only simmering, it may take a few extra minutes. Don't pay attention to the clock - watch the tomatoes. When the skins begin to split, as shown below, remove them from the boiling water and drop them into the ice bath.

See the skin splitting?
See the skin splitting? | Source

Peel the Tomatoes

Let the tomatoes rest in the ice water for several minutes. This both makes them cool enough to touch and stops the tomatoes from cooking further.

After the tomatoes are cool to the touch, simply peel away the skins.

Source
Source

High-quality, sharp knives making preparing food so much easier. If you don't have any, you owe yourself a nice knife.

Preparing the Tomatoes for a Recipe

You may not need to dice the tomatoes, but most recipes call for them to be cleaned of juice and seeds. To juice the tomatoes, cut each in half and squeeze the juice and seeds from the tomatoes' hulls. Warning - this could get messy! It's worth the mess, though. If you don't clean the tomatoes out, your recipes will turn out overly soupy and filled with seeds.

Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source

After the tomatoes are clean, they're ready for whatever you need. Slice them for a salad or cut them up for any recipe that calls for diced tomatoes, like my recipe for Mediterranean couscous salad.

Blanching tomatoes for sauce is the perfect way to preserve your homegrown or farmers' market tomato bounty, and you can use this technique any time to make your own diced tomatoes for your favorite recipes. Are there any dishes you make regularly with diced tomatoes? Have you ever tried making your own diced tomatoes before?

Greek spaghetti squash
Greek spaghetti squash | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nice instructions. Bev is the tomato eater in this family so I'll pass this on to her.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Ah, billybuc! My staunch supporter =) Than you for stopping by and being the first to comment on my latest hub.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Great step-by-step instructions and pictures! Blanching really makes it a lot easier to peel tomatoes. I've heard some people do it in a microwave instead of cooking pot, but I've never tried that myself.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I don't have a microwave, so I won't be trying that method any time soon! You can also put the tomatoes in just boiled water, but I find it goes a little more quickly if you actually boil the tomatoes briefly.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I remember my sister doing this each fall for preparation of her winter canning. They are so nice in stews, chili and other homemade recipes such as lasagna. It such a simple method, but many do not know how to do this. Great post and will help those searching on how to do it well.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Yes, blanching is an important technique at tomato harvest time!

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Love the article and the pictures. For years I made everything with the skins and now I spend the time to blanch, it makes a real difference for some dishes!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      There's nothing worse than stringy bits of skin in tasty tomato sauce! Thank for coming by my hub =)

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very much practical step by step instructions, thank you, useful hub.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks, girishpuri!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Natashalh,

      I knew this, but I use cold water instead of ice. I believe lots of people will find this useful.

      Cheers

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      If your water is cold enough, that should be fine! In the summer the 'cold' water is warm enough to make you wonder if you turned on the wrong faucet.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I'm making a soup today that requires peeled and seeded tomatoes. I remembered that you put this hub up a little while ago so I knew right where to look! Thanks, Natasha :-)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! Hope your soup turns out amazing.

    • devisree profile image

      devisree 4 years ago from India

      Interesting hub with eyecatching photos.Voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Terrific easy to follow instructions. This year the tomato plants are producing well and it will make freezing them simple. Nice work.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I love canning and freezing season, and nothing beats home grown tomatoes. Thanks for stopping in!

    Click to Rate This Article