This story's a juicy one.
“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins,” novelist Laurie Colwin once wrote. And how right she was. We wait all year long for tomato season, because when brandywines, beefsteaks, and other heirloom varieties are at peak ripeness, there’s really nothing better.
Not to mention that ripe tomatoes are about as fuss-free as fresh fruits come: they require almost no prep work or additional ingredients to make a delicious dish. Dice your ruby red, mix with herbs, garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil and spoon it on a piece of crusty bread—in five minutes flat, you’ve got the best-ever bruschetta with zero elbow grease.
But to get that perfect-looking dice from a super soft, juicy tomato—i.e. pieces with even edges that aren’t ripped, smashed, or bruised—takes technique. We tapped Chef Samuel Gorenstein, the owner of Miami’s My Ceviche restaurant who was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list (he’s also a two-time James Beard Foundation Rising Star), to walk us through the proper knife skills for nailing an even tomato dice and the best way to pick and prep a ripe tomato.
How to pick tomatoes
- Pick tomatoes that feel heavy, with smooth and bright skins, free of any blemishes or bruises.
- Wash them under cold running water. Let them air dry.
- Store them at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
- Use when they are at peak ripeness.
The best way to dice tomatoes
- Using the tip of the paring knife, cut around the core of the tomato at an inward angle to remove the stem.
- Using the chef’s knife, quarter the tomato by cutting from the stem side down.
- Remove the seeds by slicing the seeds away from the tomato flesh.
- Cut each quarter into ½” wide strips, then cut across to make ½” dice.
The Wüsthof Classic 3 1/2" Paring Knife provides just the right amount of stability and maneuverability for making a precise cut when removing the stem, and the Wüsthof Classic 8” Chef’s Knife carries just the right weight to perform a clean cut without bruising the tomatoes.