Chopping up tomatoes is a typical kitchen job—one which’s simple when you use the right approach and the correct knife. Then, even the juiciest, ripest tomatoes will slice fantastically. Whether or not you make good slices for Martha’s favourite burgers, dicing tomatoes for Pico de Gallo, or making ready certainly one of our Recent Tomato Recipes, observe our strategies for slicing (and dicing) tomatoes and slicing wedges. Plus, get our ideas for tips on how to reduce tomatoes of assorted sizes, from tiny cherries to massive heirlooms.
The Finest Knife for Slicing Tomatoes
Whenever you reduce tomatoes, attain for a serrated knife. “The sharp tooth pierce and simply reduce by way of the tomato pores and skin,” says recipe developer Lindsay Leopold.
Whereas it may appear pure to achieve to your chef’s knife (which is appropriate for many varieties of produce), this blade will not work on tomatoes. “Until you are often sharpening your knives, the typical chef’s knife is not going to simply slice by way of a tomato because of the distinction between the taut pores and skin and softer flesh,” says Leopold. “Even a barely boring knife will encounter resistance on the pores and skin, which squishes and damages the flesh, squeezing out the seeds and juice.”
What Measurement Knife?
For small- to medium-sized tomatoes like cocktail, Roma, or tomatoes on the vine, use a 6-inch utility knife with small, serrated tooth just like the Shun 6-Inch Serrated Utility Knife, says Leopold. A bigger 8-inch serrated knife, like a bread knife, works properly for bigger tomatoes, like beefsteak or heirloom. If you happen to’re in a pinch, you’ll be able to flip to a pointy steak knife (particularly one with finely serrated tooth).
Now that you’ve the correct knife, you are prepared to chop tomatoes. There are two strategies to strive, however the one you select will rely upon whether or not you are slicing wedges or slices—both can be utilized as is or become a straightforward cube.
Easy methods to Reduce Tomato Wedges
In case your aim is to chop tomato wedges (or if you wish to take away the seeds and core earlier than dicing the tomato), that is the strategy for you.
- Prep the tomato: Begin with a washed and dried tomato. Place the tomato stem facet up on a slicing board. Take away the stem.
- Halve the tomato: Maintain it firmly, then use a delicate sawing movement by way of the middle of the core to chop the tomato in half.
- Core the tomato: Utilizing the tip of your serrated knife or a paring knife, reduce a “v” form into the highest of every tomato half to take away the core by the stem.
- Reduce wedges: Slice every tomato half into the specified quantity of wedges. (In case you are deseeding the tomato, reduce into 4 wedges complete.)
Coring or Dicing Wedges
- Deseed and core the wedges: Place a wedge pores and skin facet down in your slicing board and run the knife alongside the flesh to chop out the seeds and core.
- Cube the deseeded wedges: Slice every deseeded wedge into strips, then line the strips up and reduce crosswise to create diced items.
Easy methods to Slice a Tomato
Slices are good for burgers, sandwiches, bagels, and a few salads. They will also be simply become a cube in case you are not planning to take away the core and seeds.
- Prep the tomato: Begin with a washed and dried tomato. Place the tomato stem facet up on a slicing board.
- Take away the stem and core utilizing Leopold’s culinary faculty methodology: “Put the tip of a paring knife into the tomato close to its core at a 45-degree angle a few 1/2-inch deep (the purpose of the blade ought to then be beneath the core). Rotate the tomato so the paring knife cuts across the core in an entire circle. It is best to then be capable to elevate out the cone-shaped core,” she says.
- Slice the tomato: Place the tomato on certainly one of its sides. Discover the candy spot the place it might relaxation by itself, so it will not slip or slide if you reduce it. Firmly maintain the tomato and use a serrated knife to slice. Use a delicate sawing movement and make parallel slices.
Slice Horizontally, Not Vertically
This can be a transformative tip for slicing. “Due to the anatomy of the tomato (the seed pockets develop vertically), you are going to get higher slices by slicing the tomato across the ‘equator’ slightly than vertically,” says Leopold. “Chopping the tomato horizontally retains the seeds evenly distributed to assist the slices keep intact.”
Dicing After Slicing
To cube, make a small stack of the flat slices. Reduce the stack into strips, then rotate the stack 90 levels and reduce crosswise right into a cube. Do the identical with every rounded finish, however slice these individually so they do not slide.
Do You Have to Deseed?
You would not take away the seeds from a tomato when you’re slicing it for a sandwich—you need the juice and the seeds. So, when ought to you deseed a tomato? “It is a good suggestion to deseed a tomato when you’re seeking to keep away from further moisture or the feel or look of the seeds within the last dish,” says Leopold. In any other case, it is an extra step that is not usually crucial for many recipes.
Chopping Small Tomatoes
Ignore on-line recommendation that claims to slice small tomatoes, like cherry and grape tomatoes, between two plates or lids. “Whereas this does work, it does not present a lot management in slicing the tomatoes evenly in half,” says Leopold. She opts for a much less fussy approach: “I desire to pinch the tomato between my thumb and pointer finger and slice by way of the middle of every tomato between my fingers individually.”
Chopping Heirloom Tomatoes
Whereas standard tomatoes are bred to face up to long-distance transportation, are picked underripe, and have harder, firmer pores and skin to forestall harm, heirloom tomatoes you discover at farmers’ markets are picked nearer to perfect ripeness, says Leopold. Because of this, they’re juicier, extra fragile, and simpler to bruise—and extra delicate to slice. Reduce them the way in which you’ll different varieties (the strategies maintain, regardless of their distinctive form) and positively use that serrated knife. The riper the heirloom tomato, the extra vital the knife you employ actually is.