A perfect slice of tomato should be deep red, firm and juicy. Unfortunately, it’s far too common to slice into a terrible slice of tomato, which is watery, slimy and filled with seeds.
But did you know there’s a simple trick that can turn a sub-par tomato into a much better one? And the key is already in your pantry.
Whether you’re slicing up tomatoes for burgers, a Caprese salad or tomato sandwiches, give yourself about 10-15 minutes before mealtime to prep your tomatoes by lightly salting them. The salt does much more than make them taste better ― it’s more scientific than that. Rather, the salt actually draws out the unwanted liquid and creates a denser slice.
As J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats has explained, “salting draws liquid out of tomatoes through the process of osmosis — that is, the tendency of a liquid (tomato juice) to migrate across a membrane (the tomato’s cell walls) from an area of low solute concentration (within the cells) to an area of high solute concentration (outside of the cells).” And when you remove excess water from the tomato, it concentrates its flavor, making it taste more tomatoey.
If you’ve cut your tomatoes into wedges for a salad (as opposed to round slices), you can try an alternate method: Toss your wedges in a colander, lightly salt them, let them sit for 15-20 minutes and give them a shake to drain their excess liquid.
Now that you’ve got perfect summer-ripe tomatoes, here are some delicious ways to use them.
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