Tomatoes are the base of some of our favorite dishes: spicy salsas, sweet marinara sauces, and summery Caprese salads. Pretty much nothing beats a perfectly in season summer tomato, but even in the winter we’ll search out vine-ripened and cherry tomatoes to get our fix.
Cherry tomatoes are delicate enough to be eaten whole, but larger tomato varieties, like beefsteak or Roma tomatoes, have a fibrous core at the top of the tomato that should be removed before using it in a recipe. It won’t hurt you, but it has an unpleasant woody texture. This core can be tough to remove with a regular kitchen knife, but a paring knife is the perfect tool for the job.
Remove the core from a tomato
Step 1: Choose a Ripe Tomato
Let’s not waste our efforts on sub-par fruits (yes, it’s a fruit). Ripe tomatoes are easier to work with and will have a sweeter flavor. Look for a tomato that is plump and firm to the touch, but not too hard.
Step 2: Cut Off the Stem
If the stem is still attached, pull it away or remove it with a knife. Hold the tomato steady with one hand and use the paring knife to cut around the stem, making a small circular cut. Then, gently lift the stem off the tomato and discard it.
Step 3: Make a Small Incision
Holding the paring knife by the back of the blade, make a small incision at the top of the tomato where the stem was removed. Be careful not to cut too deep, as you only want to cut through the skin and not the flesh of the tomato.
Step 4: Remove the Core
Once you have made the incision, insert the tip of the paring knife into the tomato and gently twist it to create a small hole. Then, insert the knife a little deeper and twist it again. Continue this process, working your way around the core of the tomato, until you have removed the entire top part of the core.
Watch our chef demonstrate this technique below, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cooking videos.