When it comes to basic cooking skills, knowing how to slice a tomato is at the top of the list. After all, tomatoes are commonly used in a wide range of recipes, from vegan omelettes to salads and sandwiches to salsa.
And with the right technique, a tomato can be sliced in a way that keeps the fleshy insides intact. This is essential not only for improving its presentation, but for preventing soggy messes, too.
First, wash your tomato. Pat dry with a clean towel. Gather your supplies: a clean cutting board and a very sharp knife. It’s recommended to use a paring knife—serrated, if possible—but an all-purpose knife will also get the job done.
In either case, make sure your knife is very sharp. (It might seem counterintuitive, but using a sharp knife is the safest move. A sharp knife will properly pierce through the vegetable, which reduces the chances of it slipping and cutting your fingers.)
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How to Cut Tomato Slices
If you’re using tomatoes on a vine, carefully remove one tomato. Place the tomato on its side. The top of the tomato (where the stem is/was) should face the knife.
In other words, if you’re right-handed and holding the knife in your right hand, the top of the tomato should face right. If you’re left-handed, the top of the tomato should face left.
Firmly hold down the tomato and slice off the top of the tomato.
Contine slicing the tomato. Each slicing motion should be parallel to the last one. The thickness of each slice is up to you.
By cutting the tomato in this manner, the flesh and seeds will stay together. This is useful if you need tomato slices for a sandwich or veggie burger.
How to Dice Tomato
Need diced tomatoes? Once you’ve cut the tomato into slices, you’re already halfway there. Simply stack a few slices on the cutting board. Make multiple parallel cuts across the stack.
Repeat in the opposite direction. These cuts should be perpendicular to the first cuts. Tip: Imagine a bar graph is placed on top of the tomatoes. Next, cut along the lines.
The result is freshly diced tomatoes, which are perfect for tossing into pasta or salad.
How to Slice Tomato Wedges
You can also cut a tomato into wedges for salads. First, place the tomato on the cutting board, top side facing up. The bottom should be on the cutting board. If you’d like, slice a small piece off the bottom to create a more flat and stable surface.
Place the knife across the top. Slice once to create two halves.
The two halves will look something like this.
Place one half on the cutting board, cut side down. Note where the stem was.
Slice in half, cutting from top to bottom. The tip of your knife should be facing the same side as the stem.
The result is two quarter tomato wedges.
If you’d like, slice each quarter in half once more. This creates four wedges per half, or eight wedges per tomato.
With this technique, the flesh will stay together in each wedge.
Did you enjoy this guide for slicing a tomato? Visit our step-by-step tutorial for cutting green onions.