When learning how to cook, important skilla to acquire are your knife skills. I wanted to give you a tutorial on how to seed and dice tomatoes. My blog tends to be made up of a lot of tutorials. I don’t want to present information with any assumption that people know how to execute it. I will be giving you a brie pasta recipe tomorrow that calls for diced tomatoes. I have grown up with a mom that cooks, so I was able to observe a lot. One of my moms’ friends (now my friend too) was an excellent entertainer who also went to culinary school in France. She would hire me to help out in the kitchen in preparation for her parties. I remember a lot of knife skills she showed me as well. I was lucky to grow up with these examples. I know not everyone has that. I have a lot of friends who admit to being naive in the kitchen. I have watched others fumble around with a knife enough that I know a tutorial like this could really be helpful for some. Although I had been taught a number of culinary techniques, I have used my “Williams-Sonoma Tools and Techniques” often as I remind myself how to do it properly. I have so much to learn too! I wanted to write a tutorial like this because I’m sure I’m not the only one who benefits from a visual “how to” break down as I am learning new skills.
Some people like to cut the tomato through the center. I like to cut it toward the top. I find the pieces easier to dice if I just cut the top slice off. By doing so, you will find all of the seed pockets nicely laid out in a wagon wheel type design. Simply stick your fingers in those holes and scoop out the seeds. Roma tomatoes are a bit different. You cut those lengthwise in half to dig out the seeds. This process will help avoid making the tomatoes soupy and watery. I do it over the sink.
Dicing a Tomato
1. You cut the top of the tomato off, so now you can lay that cut side face down on your cutting board. Cut the tomato into vertical slices. I always use a serrated knife to cut tomatoes. I find it cuts easier through the skin, preventing the tomatoes from getting squished. Slice all the way across the tomato into 1/8-1/4 inch slices.
2. Take 2-3 slices and stack them on top of one another. Do another series of slices (1/8-1/4 inches) across the tomato, creating a series of strips.
3. Rotate your tomato to do another series of slices (1/8-1/4 inches) perpendicular to the last all the way across. This will complete your dicing of that section. Move on to the next few slices until you have diced the entire tomato.
If you follow this process, you should get a fairly consistent sized dice. Why is that important? It is important to get even knife cuts so that the flavors of your dish become more evenly balanced. It also looks better in presentation.
If you need to know how to peel a tomato, I also wrote an article about that.