The small amount of effort it takes is worth the glorious taste of peel-free tomatoes!
Although peeling a tomato is not an extremely common method in many home kitchens, it is a very useful process to be familiar with. Some recipes will call for a tomato to be peeled and seeded in order to rid the tomato of any bitter taste that the peel and seeds can contain. This method can also be used for peeling peaches and plums.
1. Remove any stickers and wash the tomato thoroughly. Remove the stem, but be careful to remove only as much of the tomato as is necessary to detach the stem and the green skin surrounding the stem from the red flesh of the tomato.
2. Cut a very shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. This will aid in the actual peeling of the tomato later in the process.
3. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Then, drop the tomato into the boiling water. You will remove it after 30 seconds or when the skin begins to peel. If you intend to peel several tomatoes make sure you have enough water for all of the tomatoes.
4. Once you notice any skin peeling off the tomato, or that 30 seconds is up, quickly remove the tomato and place it into the prepared bowl of ice water.
5. Let the tomato sit in the ice bath for at least 5 minutes. It is important the tomato be cooled all the way through in order to stop the cooking process the boiling water began.
6. Once the tomato has been chilled, remove it from the ice water. The tomato should still be very firm, with the skin wrinkled and hanging off of it slightly.
7. Begin peeling the tomato. Peel the skin off with your hands.
8. If the skin is stubborn, use a small sharp paring knife to remove the pieces of skin that will not budge, being careful not to squeeze the tomato.
9. A marvelous, peeled tomato! To prepare it for use in a wide variety of recipes, you can dice it further (view the dicing tomatoes article).
Toss a peeled, diced tomato into this tasty recipe: