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Tomatoes are by far the most versatile fruit available. They can be added to any meal of the day without feeling out of place or weird. Because of how versatile they are, it can be difficult to know how to best prepare them to suit the dish they are being added to. Cutting tomatoes is a great skill to learn if you intend on using them more often.
Table of Contents
- Ways To Cut Tomatoes
- Is It Good To Cut Tomatoes?
Ways To Cut Tomatoes
While there are many different ways to cut a tomato, there are a couple of very basic methods that should be covered immediately. Before even thinking about cutting your tomatoes, you will want to make sure you have the right knife. While big sharp knives can be scary, they are actually less likely to cut you when compared to cheap and dull knives. To cut a tomato, you must keep it on a cutting board while it is still spherical. Unless your knife is sharp enough to easily cut through the skin, it is likely you could slip and accidentally injure yourself.
While sharp knives do not seem like that much of a big deal, getting yourself a trustworthy, sharp, and beautiful knife set will really help you on your way to becoming a much better home cook or chef. For tomato cutting purposes, a large chef’s knife or a paring knife will be great. However, the best knife for this would be a serrated knife as it will glide through the skin so easily, making your job just that little bit easier. A steak knife can be used if there is no other alternative. Although, chef knives or a pairing knife would be a better choice.
Tomato slices can be used in a wide range of recipes, and they are super easy to prepare. Before cutting anything, make sure to wash your tomato under cold water thoroughly as this will get rid of any bacteria that may be on it.
To cut tomato slices, you will want to place your tomato on a cutting board. Take your non-dominant hand and hold the tomato firmly in place, while making sure your fingers are not sprawled out and at risk of getting cut. Take your large serrated knife or any sharp knife you choose to use and cut the stem end of the tomato off. This should easily be done in a single slicing motion. If it is not easily done, then your knife is not sharp enough.
If you are somewhat experienced with cutting fruit, you can leave your tomato as is. However, for anyone who might be nervous using a sharp knife, you can place your tomato so that the side you have just cut is facing downwards. This will provide a sturdier base for the tomato so it is less likely to roll around.
Similar to how you cut off the stem end, work your way from one side of the tomato to the other using the same slicing motion. Cut the tomato slices as thin or as thick as you want. It is okay if a few slices are not perfect. Serrated knives will make this a lot easier as they can cut the tomato skin with ease.
Cutting a tomato into wedges is a tiny bit more complicated but still relatively easy. Firstly, you are still going to want to wash your tomato so that it is clean and ready to be used.
To begin, Firmly hold your tomato on the cutting board and halve it lengthwise. The two halves will now expose the inside of the tomato and allow you to see the stem. Cut a V shape into where the stem is so that you can cut it out very easily.
Once you have your tomato halves without the stem, you can begin to cut them into wedges. To do this, you will want to have the flat side facing upwards and slice at an angle to create a wedge of your preferred size. Each half can be cut into multiple wedges.
Dicing tomatoes is useful if you wish to use them in a recipe that requires them to be in small pieces. To dice tomatoes properly, you will want to start off by washing them thoroughly to remove all bacteria.
After they are washed, you will want to follow the above instructions and cut them into tomato wedges. Once you have cut tomato wedges to your heart’s content, you will want to remove the seeds and core. This can be done by taking a sharp knife or a large serrated knife and running it along the flesh and the pulp. If done correctly, you will have nothing but tomato flesh remaining, alongside a pile of tomato seeds and pulp.
Now that you have your tomato wedges cut into thin strips of tomato flesh, you will want to dice them. This can be done by cutting your slice of tomato vertically, keeping the tomato slices together, rotating them 90 degrees, and then cutting again. This will evenly dice your tomato slices. These diced tomatoes can now be used in any recipe you want.
While it is rare that you need to do this, some recipes call for you to blanch your tomatoes. This step is carried out before you even cut tomatoes.
To blanch your tomatoes, you will want to bring a deep pot of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling, you will need to drop your tomatoes in it and allow them to sit for 40 seconds. Once 40 seconds have passed, remove the tomatoes carefully and place them in a bowl of ice-cold water. This will help separate the skin from the flesh easily. You should be able to just peel the skin off with your hands.
If the skin is not easily peeled off, try putting the tomatoes back in the boiling water for another 30 seconds and repeating the process.
Is It Good To Cut Tomatoes?
Due to how versatile tomatoes are, they can be used in an array of recipes. Some recipes may call for you to thinly slice the tomatoes, while others may want you to dice them. Regardless of what recipes you plan to cook, learning the proper ways to cut and prepare a tomato is a very important step in becoming a better cook.