In my efforts to help you understand how to cook healthy foods for yourself and your family, the most important thing to remember is that the most nutritious food comes from fresh produce. So go ahead, enjoy the summer harvest and the flavor of just-picked items, you might even want to enjoy the flavors of some unfamiliar fruits and vegetables.
Today, I want to share information about an item that you probably very familiar with and already understand the health benefits and eat it every summer. The tomato. One of the best flavors of summer are fresh tomatoes. They are bright, clean, slightly acidic and can be used in just about any kitchen application. Most of us love a sliced tomato on sandwiches, or diced tomatoes into a cool summer salad or salsa.
However, if you have to cook a tomato, the skin becomes bothersome. The skin of a tomato does not break down under heat and needs to be removed unless you like little rolled quills of tomato skin stuck in your teeth after a meal.
First heat some water to simmer or a very slow boil. While your water is heating, core your tomato and on the opposite end, mark an "X" in the skin. Once your water is ready, drop in your tomato. You will not need to leave the tomato in very long as you're not trying to cook it, rather to tease the skin off. When the skin on the tomato begins to split, remove it from the water and drop it into ice cold water. This change from intense heat to ice cold is called "shocking" and will cause the skin on the tomato to begin to roll up on the edges and separate from the tomato so you can easily pull the skin off using your fingers.
Once this is complete, you can cut the tomato in half and flick out the seeds inside the tomato. Once you remove the seeds and give your halves of tomato a good squeeze, you now have peeled, seeded tomatoes that you can use in any number of dishes. The French call this procedure “tomato concasse” (con-ka-say). It’s peeled and seeded tomato, and a procedure anyone can master in their own kitchen for sauces, jarring, or diced in any dish.
Nutritious food can be found all around us and in learning how to cook healthy dishes, open your mind to the idea of learning some new procedures that will enable you to enjoy your produce in fresh, new ways. Enjoy your healthy eating!