Tomatoes: The Best Ways To Cook This Kitchen Staple

No other fruit or vegetable is utilised or consumed to the same extent as tomatoes. The tomato can be used in an unlimited number of dishes, from pizza to ketchup to sun-dried tomatoes and everything in between. Even candied, they can be used in cakes and are a favourite Southern food. 

Tomatoes are typically advised to be kept out of the refrigerator at all costs when preserving them. However, you do have some flexibility if you can't afford to make regular visits to the shop or if you frequently forget to eat your tomatoes right away. 

Usually speaking, a tomato can withstand the refrigerator better the more ripe it is. Those tomatoes that have never been allowed to ripen will perform the worst (this results in mealy, flavourless tomatoes). So, it is preferable to keep underripe tomatoes on the counter for a few days, however the exact number of days will depend on the ambient temperature and how ripe they were when you bought them. Yet, you can keep perfectly ripe tomatoes that you aren't quite ready to eat in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Before eating, let chilled tomatoes warm up to room temperature for the greatest flavour. 

Tomato storage methods, including whether to store them stem-side up or down, are a topic of discussion in addition to the fridge vs. countertop dispute. The idea that tomatoes would bruise less quickly if they are stored stem-side up is popular, although there is strong evidence to support the idea that stem-side down storage is preferable. This is because the stems allow moisture to escape, so by arranging them stem-side down, you're promoting moisture retention and keeping them fresh. 

Quick Tips 

For slicing tomatoes, a decent serrated knife is preferable to a flat-edged knife. Whenever you slice tomatoes using a flat-edged knife, be sure it is extremely sharp to prevent crushing and bruising the tomato flesh. 

For herbed cheese, fish or egg salad, or as a starter, scooped-out cherry tomatoes create excellent edible bowls. As a side dish, either baked or raw, or as a condiment bowl for sauces, use a standard-sized hollowed tomato stuffed with any assortment of stuffings. Before filling, flip the tomatoes that have been hollowed out upside down to let them to drain for about ten minutes. Stability is improved when stuffed tomatoes are baked in a muffin pan. 

When cooking tomatoes, avoid using aluminium cookware. The aluminium reacts negatively with the tomato's acid. The colour and bitterness of the cooked tomatoes are both diminished when aluminium is used. Moreover, part of the aluminium will be absorbed by the food, and the acid in the tomatoes may pit and tarnish the aluminium cookware. 

You can add a little sugar and salt to your tomatoes to balance out the acidity, which will also enhance the flavour. 

To counteract acidity, we choose to add grated carrot to marinara sauce rather than sugar. In the sauce, the carrot disintegrates and gives sweetness without adding any taste. Also, a quarter teaspoon of baking soda per gallon of tomato sauce will help reduce acidity. 

Certain meals may naturally take longer to cook due to the tomato's strong acid content. For instance, adding tomatoes to beans during cooking may result in up to a 20% longer cooking time. 

The best uses for plum tomatoes are in sauces. Although all tomato varieties are healthy, globe, cherry, and grape tomatoes are the best for eating raw. 

If canned tomatoes are your only option and all you have is the bland, supermarket fresh tomato, you could be better off utilising them in cooked dishes. 

Herbs including basil, oregano, pepper, dill weed, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, celery seed, sesame seed, tarragon, chives, and parsley pair beautifully with tomatoes.