How to Boil Tomatoes

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Save those fresh tomatoes by stewing and then freezing.
Save those fresh tomatoes by stewing and then freezing. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Fresh tomatoes can't be beat for the sweet tangy taste of summer. If you've over shopped at the farmer's market or your garden is producing a bumper crop of tomatoes, it may not be possible to use all the tomatoes while they're still fresh. Boiled tomatoes, sometimes called stewed tomatoes, are a flavorful dish by themselves or when combined with seasonings and herbs. Freeze the boiled tomatoes for later use in sauces, stews and soups.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Water
  • Ice water
  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Potato masher
  • Seasonings

Wash the tomatoes. Remove any stickers. Remove the stems

Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil -- it can't be stirred down -- drop in three or four whole tomatoes. Do not crowd the pan. Bring the water back up to a boil. Count to 60. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice water bath. Bring the water back up to a boil and continue giving the remaining tomatoes the boiling water and ice bath.

Pick up the tomatoes and slide the skin off each one. It should slip off easily if it doesn't take a small paring knife and remove any stuck on skin.

Decide whether you want to leave the seeds in the finished boiled tomatoes or remove them. If you want to remove them slice the tomatoes in half horizontally. Hold the half over a bowl in the cup of your hand and squeeze gently. The seeds and surrounding gel will slide out. Skip this step if you are leaving the seeds in the tomatoes.

Core the tomatoes. If you didn't half the tomatoes to remove the seeds, angle the paring knife around the core at the stem end and cut a cylinder shape around the core. The core isn't very deep, only about an inch. Remove the core from the upper half of the tomato from those you did cut in half.

Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place in a pot. Put the pot on medium heat. As the tomatoes heat up they will release juice. When the juice is bubbling mash the tomatoes into the juice with a tomato masher. Keep on medium heat until all of the tomatoes are boiling. Turn off the heat. Add seasonings to taste such as salt and pepper, garlic cloves, chopped basil or oregano.

Tips & Warnings

  • Select ripe tomatoes that yield to gentle pressure. Discard tomatoes with soft spots or bruises.
  • Watch the tomatoes when they first start to release juice. If the heat is too high the juice will evaporate and the tomatoes burn.

References

  • "The Joy of Cooking"; Irma S. Rombauer; 1972
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