Photo courtesy Martin Poole/Thinkstock
How to choose the freshest tomatoes:
1. Follow your nose. A good tomato has a fresh, green aroma and shiny, unblemished skin. It should feel firm but supple when squeezed.
2. Store tomatoes on the counter. Refrigerated tomatoes lose flavour and become mealy. Instead, store them at room temperature out of direct sunlight, which dries them out. To quickly ripen underripe tomatoes, place in a paper bag with a ripe tomato for a day or two.
3. Prepare simply. Slice ultrafresh tomatoes; add overripe ones to juices and sauces. Salt and salty things – such as capers, cheese and anchovies – emphasize tomatoes' sweet flavour; heavy dressings just cover it up. To show off tomatoes (especially if serving several varieties), just add one or more of the following: salt and pepper; a drizzle of good olive oil; a tiny splash of wine vinegar; sliced fresh mozzarella or shaved Asiago; or torn or minced fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano or marjoram.
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This story was originally titled "Tomato Tutorial" in the September 2010 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!