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Is there anything better than a sweet, fresh heirloom tomato straight from the farmer’s market in the middle of summer? Okay, maybe plucking a tomato from the vine in your own garden is a little better, but our point is that summer tomatoes are one of the best foods out there. But trying to cut into those tomatoes without smooshing or smashing them into smithereens is another matter entirely. Thankfully, expert chefs are often happy to share their tips and techniques, and if you’ve ever wondered how to cut a tomato without squishing it, you’ll be excited to know that Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli just posted a video sharing exactly how she cuts tomatoes to showcase their flavor and texture all summer long.
A post shared by Alex Guarnaschelli The “ICAG” (@guarnaschelli)
According to the star, you should pay attention to the direction in which you cut your tomatoes. Many people use the stem-end of the tomato as a guide for slicing them in half, but according to Guarnaschelli, cutting tomatoes horizontally is a better bet. That’s because the interior structure of the tomato is more open when cut horizontally, which means that the tomato slices or halves are better able to soak up all of the seasoning in your dish.
Guarnaschelli also shared that you can cut tomatoes into quarters, then can scoop out the insides and turn the outer part into tomato “petals” that can be used in salads, appetizers, as garnish, or oven-dried. She recommends scooping out the tomato insides and then crushing them up to make a tomato vinaigrette, and they can also be used for salsa or a fresh tomato sauce for pasta.
That’s all good advice, but there’s one thing Guarnaschelli didn’t mention. Dull knives are the enemy of tomatoes. A super-sharp, high-quality chef’s knife can do the job, but you can also buy special tomato knives.
They’re designed with a serrated edge to help slice through the tomatoes’ skin, and many have openings in the blade to keep the sliced fruit from sticking to it.
TUO German Steel Tomato Knife
But you don’t absolutely need a tomato knife to do the job. A simple serrated paring knife can also do the trick.
Victorinox Serrated Paring Knife
Once you have the right knife, follow Guarnaschelli’s tips to enjoy the best-tasting tomatoes all season long.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Watermelon Mango Salsa
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