How to Blanch Summer Tomatoes

This simple method will help save your end-of-season bounty

Just because tomatoes are a peak-summer crop doesn't mean you have to go without them all winter long. Save those flavorful fruits to make fresh tomato sauce (yes, it's much better than the canned stuff), soups and purées (perfect for the base of a homemade Bloody Mary).

Preserving your bounty starts with blanching, which not only halts rotting but also removes any leftover dirt post-harvest. Here's how to blanch your tomatoes in a few simple steps:

①  Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Score a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife.

②  Boil a pot of water and add the tomatoes (no more than a dozen tomatoes at a time).

③  Boil for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until the skins start to peel back.

④  Remove the tomatoes with a spoon and drop them into the ice bath.

⑤  After they've cooled in the ice bath (about 1 minute), take them out. The skins should slip right off, starting from the "x" you scored.

Now that you've blanched your tomatoes, preserve them and make the best heirloom tomato sauce.