How to Blanch Tomatoes and preserve your seasonal bounty. Florida is in full swing tomato season, friends, farmer’s markets and grocers are stocked to the rafters.
Red, ripe and ready for so many great dishes, of course, even sliced with a shake of coarse sea salt and black pepper makes them sparkle and practically beg to be eaten! But sometimes their skins aren’t a welcome addition to a recipe.
Blanching offers the fastest peel possible for larger tomatoes. Yes, size does matter! Don’t bother to peel small varieties, their skins are tender and won’t wreck your recipes.
Roma, Plum, Beefsteak, and San Marzano are all beautiful choices for recipes and canning. Making them great candidates for blanching to easily remove their skins. Blanched tomatoes are so versatile.
Should I use an ice bath after blanching tomatoes?
Chef’s Note: If you are peeling tomatoes for canning or freezing. Be sure to dunk the tomatoes in an ice bath after boiling them for 30-60 seconds. It stops the cooking process and keeps them from getting mushy. Here I was making our Restaurant Style Salsa (post forthcoming) so I let them sit for a minute and then slipped off the skins and continued with the recipe.
How long can I store Blanched Tomatoes?
Safely store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can easily freeze them up to a year in heavy-duty freezer bags. Portioned out for your cooking needs, be sure to force out as much air as possible too.
Should I core tomatoes after blanching?
Yes, core the tomatoes after the blanching process is complete, then use as needed.
Chef’s Tip: Don’t refrigerate tomatoes after they are off the vine, their texture and taste will suffer greatly! Store in a cool dry place, stem side down in a single layer. Stacking can cause mushy tomatoes and nobody wants a mushy mater’!
How to Blanch Tomatoes
- Prepare an ice bath and set aside if you are planning on canning, freezing or are simply not using immediately (as mentioned above).
- Score an X on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife (sharp knives are safe knives).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the tomatoes, no more than 8-12 at a time.
- Boil for about 30-60 seconds or until you start to see the skins split and peel back.
- Remove the tomatoes with a spoon or tongs and dunk in the ice bath for 1 minute OR set on a cutting board to cool until you can handle them. I’m used to the heat so it only takes about 15 seconds for me to be able to remove the peels.
- Once they’re cooled the skins will slip right off from the X that you scored on the bottom.
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