As we know, tomatoes on sale here in the UK are grown not, primarily, for taste but for durability during transport. The result, no matter how good they do taste, is leathery skins and tough flesh.** Fear not, though – there is a solution to their dismal texture.
**I’m particularly sensitive to this at present, as my pain meds cause painful, inflamed, gums.
Slice or chop your toms, depending on what you’re going to do with them, put in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, plus a very generous pinch of golden caster sugar. Does it matter if you use white? Dunno, as I never use white sugar – I never use any ingredient that doesn’t contribute flavour – all you get from white sugar is sweetness. The flavour of golden caster is gentle, but it’s there.
Stir well and leave alone for an hour or two. Sorry to be vague but I haven’t timed the process – I just do them well before I intend to eat them.
After that time, you’ll find they’ve given off quite a lot of liquid. This isn’t just water, it’s flavour, and I drain them in a sieve, add a good splash of balsamic vinegar to the juice and use it as a dressing. Whisk in a little olive oil too, if you wish.
Season the drained tomatoes again (the original salt and pepper is now in the juice, though the sweetness of the sugar remains), and use them in whatever dish you had planned – you’ll find the skins are much softer, as is the frequently rubbery flesh.
Note: I mean normal quality toms, not bargain-basement red golf balls that no treatment on earth will improve! Might be worth a try, though.
And this is also worth doing if you intend to cook with them, in which case add the juice to the pan (if you’re frying them, drink it).
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