This is an ever-expanding list of handy tips for peeling and de-seeding fruit and vegetables.
Peeling and de-seeding tomatoes for sauce
Score a large shallow X at the top of each tomato. Place tomatoes into a pot of rapidly boiling water for 30–60 seconds, until the skins start to split. Drain in a colander.
Peel off the skins. Cut tomatoes into quarters. Scoop out seeds with your fingers above a sieve in a bowl, to trap the seeds and catch the juices. Push down hard on the seeds with the back of a spoon to extract the juice. Discard seeds. Chop tomatoes roughly. Freeze for up to 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
2 kilos (4 lb) tomatoes yields 1.4–1.6 kilos (4–6 cups) tomatoes and juice.
De-seeding and juicing pomegranates
Each pomegranate contains hundreds of little seeds, surrounded by a sac of tart yet sweet juice, individually covered by a thin skin. These arils are easy to remove, with a bit of patience (note: I’ll refer to the arils as seeds in this method, for ease of reading)!
Start by ‘scalping’ the pomegranate, by cutting off the top and bottom, as shown below.
Follow the ridges on the outside of the pomegranate and cut three shallow slits down the sides. Break the pomegranate into three wedges. Remove and discard the large white pieces of pith.
Place the pomegranate wedges in a bowl of water, and gently separate the arils (seeds) from the wedges. Discard the peel. The pith will float to the top and should be discarded. Seeds will sink to the bottom and can be removed with a slotted spoon.
Drain the seeds in a sieve, removing and discarding any remaining pieces of pith.
To make pomegranate juice, place the seeds in a blender and pulse once or twice only, to release the juices – don’t blend for too long or you’ll end up with a gritty/pulpy juice! Strain the juice with a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pushing down to extract as much juice as possible from the crushed seeds. Enjoy!
1 pomegranate yields about ¾ cup seeds, and ¼ to ⅓ cup of juice.