01 of 08
Cut an "X" on the Bottom of the Tomato
Tomato concassé (pronounced "conk-a-SAY") refers to tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded and roughly chopped.
We do this because tomato seeds can taste bitter, and the skin can be tough and hard to digest, especially when the tomatoes are very fresh. When we're done, we're going to end up with diced, skinless, seedless tomatoes, which you can then use in sauces, salads, omelets or any other recipe. The finished product is the equivalent of canned diced tomatoes, only much fresher.
To begin with, remove the tomato's stem (if it has one), flip it over and cut an "X" into the bottom as seen here. Don't cut too deeply — just enough to score the skin.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Place Tomato in Boiling Water
This process of briefly immersing the tomato in boiling water is called blanching, and it helps loosen the skin.
You could also blanch tomatoes in hot fat in a deep fryer — just a few seconds in the hot fat would do the trick.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Remove the Tomato After About 30 Seconds
After about 30 seconds (give or take, depending on how fresh the tomato is) in the boiling water, you'll see the skin start to curl up where you cut the "X". That means it's done. You'll want to have a bowl of ice water standing by.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Plunge Tomato Into Ice Water Bath
The ice water stops the tomato from cooking. This step in the blanching process is sometimes called "shocking" the tomato (or whatever vegetable is being blanched). Shock being an appropriate reaction to being plunged into ice water.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Transfer Cooled Tomato to Your Cutting Board
After it cools, remove the tomato from the ice water and transfer it to your cutting board. Don't leave it in the water too long or it can become waterlogged. You can see how loose the skin is.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
The Tomato Skin Peels Off Easily
By the way, you can use this same procedure to get the skin off other foods. You might blanch peaches to remove the skin before baking them in a pie, for instance. Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios are frequently blanched to remove their skin, which can be bitter, before using them in other recipes.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Cut the Tomato in Half and Squeeze Out the Seeds
Make sure to slice the tomato horizontally (i.e., along the equator), not through the stem. Now you can either squeeze the seeds out or scoop them out with your finger.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
The Finished Tomato Concassé
Now just give the peeled, seedless tomato a rough chop and you're done. Concasséed tomatoes are a lot easier to dice because it's that pesky skin that usually causes the trouble.
When you cook with concasséed tomatoes, you'll find that your dishes don't turn out as watery as if you just used diced, raw tomatoes. If you've ever tried to make scrambled eggs or an omelet with diced tomatoes, you know what I mean.