Since summer is here, I put together a quick tomato tutorial to help all you Home Ecers take full advantage of the basic varieties available. Stay tuned over the next few days for tips on slicing, dicing, peeling, and seeding.
Tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator but will quickly lose flavor.
The varieties I’ve listed below are a general overview, there are many variations within each category.
- Beefsteak Tomatoes, also known as slicing tomatoes, are most often used for: sandwiches, salsa, salads, stufing, stewing, in casseroles, and my favorite tomato pie. These are quite versatile, but typically have a high water and seed content making them less than ideal for sauces. Look for smooth unblemished skin, avoid produce with brown spots or broken skin. Slightly green tomatoes will ripen at room temperature.
- Cherry tomatoes are most often used for salads, as garnish, or with dips. I like to skewer and grill them. They are also easy to quarter and add to pasta or other sautéed dishes. Cherry tomatoes do have a high water and seed content so watch out if you bite into a whole one, your dining partner might not appreciate the results.
- With their thick walls and lower seed content Italian, roma, or plum tomatoes are an excellent choice for making tomato sauce.
- Grape tomatoes are a hybrid of cherry and Italian tomatoes. They are lower in water content and have thicker walls than the cherry varieties. They are also excellent for salads, sautéing, and eating plain.