Tomatoes Prep 101


Use sautéed cherry tomatoes to lend color to a simple main dish. Pierce each tomato with a pin (to prevent bursting) and sauté them in hot oil (with chopped garlic, if you like) until hot and tender, about 1 - 2 minutes. Toss with chopped fresh herbs. Halved plum tomatoes can be cooked the same way.


Skin and seed tomatoes, then place them in a pan with a little water, broth or tomato juice. Cover and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, if necessary, and fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, tarragon, or dill.


Broiled tomato halves are delicious served on their own or as an accompaniment to meat or poultry. Halve firm tomatoes and place on a broiler pan, cut side up. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, herbs, grated cheese, and a little olive oil, and broil for 5 minutes.


Prepare tomatoes as for broiling, then bake instead for 8 - 15 minutes at 400°F. For stuffed tomatoes, halve firm tomatoes, drain and scoop out the pulp. Salt and drain the halves, then fill them with a stuffing, such as cooked rice, pasta, grains, cooked corn, peas or other vegetables, or a bread or breadcrumb stuffing. Do not overcook the tomatoes as they will split and fall apart.


To freeze tomatoes, wash under cold running water, dry, and cut into quarters or halves, or leave tomatoes whole. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, and seal.
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