There is absolutely nothing better in the summer than a ripe tomato. We have a garden in the back field of my parents old farmhouse and some years I can’t keep up with the crop:
Even though this kind of harvest makes me feel slightly like Lucy trying to wrap all the candies on the conveyor belt I never get tired of eating dead ripe summer tomatoes.
But before I eat them straight up or use them in almost any recipe, I salt them first. I discovered this little trick years ago when I worked in the test kitchen at Gourmet Magazine. I had developed a recipe for a tomato basil and mozzarella tart with a bacon crust and when I baked it the filling came out watery. I wondered why and then I realized it was because the tomatoes gave off tons of liquid as they baked. I thought, hmmm, what would make them less watery and I realized that if I salted and drained them, that would pull a bunch of liquid out.
It worked. Not only did the tart lose all that extra water but also that pre salting intensified the flavor of the tomatoes. Now I salt and drain my tomatoes first for most of my recipes, whether I am cooking them or not.
Here is my “Fried” Catfish BLT - try this recipe and see what a difference the salt makes.
Bob Packer Says:
July 14th, 2012 at 5:51 pm
My tomato season is just coming into full swing here in NE Oklahoma. Eating them fresh out of the garden left and right and will probably start canning on Monday.
Keep up the good work!
memeber of tomatomania yahoo group.
Laura Taylor Says:
July 17th, 2012 at 3:19 am
That’s an interesting tip…one that makes perfect sense! I look forward to reading and trying some of your favorite tomato recipes as the season progresses. Your tart with the bacon crust sounds like an amazing place to start!
John C. Campbell III Says:
July 18th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
If I’m lucky enough to have 5 to 10 lbs of a variety at a time I cut them in half (top to bottom so they hold together) put them on a stainless steel quarter sheet pan, salt and pepper them (modestly) and put them under the broiler long enough to get some Mailliard reaction happening on the cut surfaces
July 19th, 2012 at 4:48 am
Are you referring to the slices? or the whole tomato? Wouldn’t squeezing out the seeds and juices do the same?
Sara Moulton Says:
July 19th, 2012 at 3:29 pm
No, actually salt pulls out liquid, more liquid than if you just squeezed it.
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