Tomatoes Prep 101

Sauté: 

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.

Steamer: 

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.

Boil: 

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.

Oven: 

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.

Freezing: 

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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