Peeling tomatoes made easy

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

I have usually avoided peeling tomatoes because I couldn't make it work. But I finally learned how. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to do a cooking demo with a real chef in the basement of Macy's at San Francisco's Union Square. Chef Chris Borges of Taste Catering made a spectacular tomato gazpacho and showed how to make tomato chutney.

Turns out I haven't ever left tomatoes in the boiling water long enough. I think that's the secret. I used heirloom tomatoes and tried to pick ones that weren't too gnarly shaped figuring the skin would come off more easily.


  1. Bring a big wide pot of water to a boil. 
  2. Also prepare a big bowl of ice water. 
  3. Cut the core out of the tomatoes with a paring knife. 
  4. Slice a small x into the skin on the opposite pole. Drop them into the boiling water for about a minute. 
  5. Remove the tomatoes then plunge them into the ice water. The skin contracts and can be removed easily by grabbing the edges between the paring knife edge and your thumb. 
  6. Cut the tomatoes into big wedges. 
  7. Wiggle the seeds out in a large strainer over a bowl. Most of the seeds will end up at the bottom of the strainer and some juices will collect in the bowl. 
  8. The flesh of the tomatoes can now be used in any recipe as can the juice if desired.