After 10 years of canning, it never fails to amaze me when I learn or stumble on something new. Last week, I went to the farmer’s market and picked up a ½ bushel of Roma tomatoes for $10. This is my favorite (and most exhausting) time of year; all the produce is coming in like gangbusters and it’s all I can do to keep up till October.
Tomatoes are starting to come in, and despite all the wet weather we’ve had, the prices at the farmer’s market haven’t budged. I promptly snatched that ½ bushel right up and had intentions to try Local Kitchen's Fire Roasted Tomatoes and a batch or two of my favorite Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce. So, as I was prepping the tomatoes for peeling, it dawned on me to use the same roasting method called for in Local Kitchen’s recipe to remove the skins for all my tomatoes.
Now in the past, I’ve always used the boil/blanch method for peeling my tomatoes. I hate it…standing there over a boiling caldron of water, fishing out steaming hot tomatoes, and then dunking them in ice water to stop the cooking process. In the end, it takes forever, the kitchen gets heated and messed up, and there’s water spills everywhere.
I was able to roast and peel that whole ½ bushel of tomatoes in UNDER AN HOUR! While one batch was roasting, I was prepping another sheet. No mess, no babysitting bobbing tomatoes, no steamy sauna…AND my tomatoes had the extra flavor bonus of being roasted.
Why did it take me so long to figure this out???
How to Quickly Peel Tomatoes
1. Preheat oven broiler to high; set oven rack 6 inches away from broiler. Prepare rinsed/clean tomatoes by cutting out the woody core and slicing in half. Place sliced tomatoes skin side up on a large cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the oven under the broiler and broil until skins are dark and charred (rotate cookie sheet halfway through).
2. Remove cookie sheet from oven and lay a dish towel over the roasted tomatoes on the cookie sheet. This lets the tomatoes cool and steam for easy peeling. After about 10 minutes, while the tomatoes are still warm, remove the dish towel and simply pull the skins right off with your fingers or a pair of tongs. Throw away skins (or if you’re my husband…EAT THEM….BLECH!!!).
3. While one batch of tomatoes are cooling, slide another cookie sheet full into the oven and cut up more tomatoes for the next batch.
Do a happy dance around the kitchen.