Dear Chef Mary,
I loved last week’s tomato remnants article. I started thinking about my tomatoes that I buy. Typically, when I’m at the grocery store, I always buy thinking that I’m going to use whatever it is that I’m buying in the near future and a lot of the times I never do. I buy tomatoes in bulk and sometimes they begin to get mushy and crack. Is there anything I can do to save them? I’ve heard sticking them in the refrigerator zaps the flavor.
Overly ripe tomatoes can make you absolutely crazy. For instance, the other day I bought heirloom tomatoes (my favorite) and placed them in my pantry. It was really warm in my house that day and in less than 24 hours my beautiful fresh heirloom tomatoes were overripe, cracking and juicing.
While I was at The Food and Wine Classic, I had an amazing opportunity to sit in on a cooking demonstration with “Top Chefs” season five favorite Chef Fabio Viviani. He made this mouth-watering filet with a beautiful medley of fresh tomatoes, feta and avocado.
As he cooked this delicious filet, he gave us helpful cooking nuggets (tips of information) to take with us into our own world of cooking. One very useful piece of information will solve your tomato problem.
Take your overripe and cracked tomatoes and soak them in salted water overnight and the cracks will seal and the tomato will become firm again. You will need to use the tomato within the next couple of days, but at least it saves you from having to throw it away.
To answer your next question, tomatoes can be refrigerated after you cut them. However, they’re best if you cut and eat them right away. The exception to this rule is a party.
Prepare for your parties as best as you can ahead of time. In this case, slice the tomatoes an hour ahead of time, then line them on parchment paper, cover them with plastic and place them in the refrigerator. Remove them from the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before you serve them to bring them up to room temperature.
By planning ahead, you can spend more time with your guests and less time slicing tomatoes.
After the party, use the leftover tomatoes for sauces, salsas or even soups the next day.
Reistle, remember to save your tomatoes by soaking them in salted water over night, slice them right before you eat them and, of course, save the scraps for soups, salsas or sauces. Good luck and thanks for the great question.
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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other health care provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen.
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