Tomatoes are the fruits of the tomato plant and are generally juicy, sweet, and acidic. Tomatoes are most commonly red but other varieties can ripen into a combination of green, yellow, orange, purple, and even brown colors. The typical tomato is about the size of a closed fist but varieties can range from the size of a currant berry to about the size of two closed fists.
- It is currently very popular to make tomato sandwiches using sliced fresh tomatoes and mayonnaise with a little seasoning.
- Jessica Sowards of Roots and Refuge likes to cook sliced tomatoes in brown butter.
- Tomato sauce for pizza or pasta is one of the most common uses for tomatoes.
- Raw tomatoes are generally processed into other forms for cooking.
- Dicing or chopping tomatoes is a great way to make raw tomatoes smaller for use in soup, salsa, pasta sauce, chili, and breakfast meals. Making the tomatoes smaller speeds up any cooking time.
- Crushed tomatoes are a combination of finely diced tomatoes and tomato puree. They can be used in place of diced or chopped tomatoes in any cooked recipe where there is not a need for a firm tomato texture.
- Roasting tomatoes in the oven caramelizes the sugars in the tomato making them sweeter and less acidic while bringing out the tomato’s inherent umami flavor. It also removes a lot of the liquid and concentrates the tomato flavor, making this form of tomato perfect for applications where you want a lot of tomato flavor without all of the liquid.
- Tomatoes can be cooked and strained to create tomato juice. The tomato pulp that is strained out can be used like crushed tomatoes.
- Tomato paste is a highly concentrated tomato product that is made by roasting tomatoes and then separating the seeds and the skin from the pulp using a food mill or sieve and then reducing the tomato pulp into a thick paste.
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