Tomatoes, processing - seeds & skins?

As some of you know I’ve been cultivating a pandemic tomato farm :joy:

Now it’s time to save them as the harvest is peaking.

I’ve never strained tomatoes for skin and seeds when using them from fresh.

BUT… I processed 3.5kg of very seedy cherry tomatoes into a cooked purée a couple of weeks ago, and I can clearly taste bitterness ( I’m going to strain it and try to salvage the flavor).

Current theory on this is that using the blender to break the tomatoes down was the problem, and if I cook them whole and then just mash them in the pot, it will be fine because the seeds won’t be broken open like in the very powerful blender.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

(I have actually bought a big strainer to strain out the skins and seeds… part of me doesn’t want to waste any more perfect tomatoes… but it’s going to be more work…)

When I make salmorejo, I puree (Vitamix) raw tomatoes with skin and seeds, canned tomatoes, along with bread, almonds, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and there is never any bitterness. But there are all those other ingredients.

I prefer to skin and seed for roasted , I think for texture. There are certainly times when I’ve left them in, but I’ll pick out skins if its easy.

I strain for gazpacho and “shrub” as well.

"(I have actually bought a big strainer to strain out the skins and seeds… part of me doesn’t want to waste any more perfect tomatoes… but it’s going to be more work…)

I’m not sure I understand.

I am often trying to reduce bulk, as opposed to keeping skin and seeds as part of perfect tomatoes.

If you’re doing a large quantity you want a tomato processor. This is a step up from a strainer or chinoise. You can get a manual one for around $70. Electric ones start around $220. They both work well but the manual ones get a little leaky if you overload them.

Ohhh! That reminds me that I had something like this. I don’t seem to have it anymore.


I get one of my chinoises out and press them through that. It’s amazing how much pulp you can get out of the skins and seeds. I then turn it into tomato sauces, with different seasonings, and water bath can them. One year I probably put up 75 various sized jars, and froze some whole cherry tomatoes, along with some regular sized tomatoes, that had been seeded and skinned. No off flavors at all.


Pickled cherry tomatoes are also delicious.


The Victoria Strainer attachment to the Kitchen Aid also works well for processing the seeds and skins off the tomatoes. You just need to clean it off with regularity, if I remember correctly.

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It sounds from your post that you are cooking and then straining. I would suggest straining and then cooking …


Thank you - I was wondering that after I processed a new batch today.

PC for 10 mins to soften everything, then pushed through the strainer to get all the pulp out and leave the seeds and skin. Very watery, so then I cooked down the result a la Hazan. Barely a hint of bitterness, but it did dawn on me that the seeds need to come out first with the next batch.

Thank you!


What I do with regular tomatoes is blanch, peel, halve, and seed with a spoon. Scaling that down to cherry tomatoes makes my head hurt. The blanch and peel would be the time-consuming part. Lots of streaming Netflix as a distraction.

Blender is definitely not a good idea. I’d try a food mill first. I’m not big on the straining idea as you have dense meat from the fruit, then the seeds, then the juice. It’s just hard to manage through strainers without multiple stages. That’s why I use a spoon. grin

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That sounds delicious! Do you have a recipe you’d care to share?

I’m not JoeBabbitt but I like Pickled tomatoes from You Say Tomato by [Joanne Weir]

Here’s the ingredients from my Eat My Books account

  • green onions
  • ground cumin
  • garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • sweet paprika
  • tomatoes
  • turmeric
  • balsamic vinegar
  • black peppercorns
  • serrano chiles
  • black mustard seeds

I have a pan of tomatoes roasting in the oven as we speak. I blanch, peel and quarter the larger ones, halve the cherries, drizzle them with olive oil, add garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. When they are done to my liking I run them through the food mill and freeze the sauce.

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A brine made from 50/50 water & vinegar with 1/4 cup pickling spice & 1 T of salt per quart. You will need about 1 cup of brine per pint jar of tomatoes. You can jar them & put them in the fridge or process 10 mins in a water bath. They will be crunchier in the fridge. You can also charge the jars before you add the tomatoes & brine with garlic, basil leaf, bay leaves or any other flavor enhancers of your choice

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Thank you!!


I briefly blanch the tomatoes and peel the skins by hand and remove the cores. For sauce, I keep the seeds and haven’t had any issues with bitterness. When you strain the seeds out, you’re still retaining the gel around them, right? That gel is where much of the flavor lies.

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Yes, the problem is I have a LOT of cherry tomatoes.

Thank you - yes, trying to retain as much as possible and just strain out the seeds and skin.