I don’t know about you, but anytime I set out to peel a tomato, or any fruit or vegetable for that matter, I end up losing more than half of the good stuff! So, instead of wasting all of that tasty tomato, because of my lack of precision in the peeling department, I just use this great, quick and easy trick that Mamá Matilde taught me.

The more Spanish recipes I learn about, the more I find myself needing to use peeled tomatoes in my cooking. Wanting to take advantage of the delicious, summertime produce here in La Rioja, I try to stay away from canned tomatoes as much as I can. But then, I find myself, once again, in a peeling dilemma… So with this fancy trick, the tomatoes are ready to be easily peeled in just one quick minute!

1) Find the tomatoes that you want to peel. (Very important question: Where are you storing your tomatoes? Find out the best way to store tomatoes here.)

2) Now we are going to ‘blanch’ the tomatoes (that is the scientific cooking term in case you didn’t know). So, how do we do this? Well, turn the tomato over so the bottom side is facing up and cut an ‘x’ just through the thin surface of the skin of the tomato. (Take a quick glance at the picture above to get a better idea of the size of the ‘x’.)

3) On the stove, heat up some water on high heat. Use enough water so that all tomatoes will be submersed when put into the water. Let the water come to a boil and then place the tomatoes in the boiling water for at least 30 seconds. (You may want to keep them in the water a bit longer if they are larger tomatoes.)

4) Remove pot from stove and immediately douse tomatoes with cold water from the faucet. You should see the ‘x’ on the tomato ‘grow’! Using the easy-to-peel edges of the ‘x’, you should be amazed with how easy it is to peel each and every tomato, fast!

**A source at localfoods.about.com tells me that you can use this same method for peeling peaches as well!