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What Is Tomato Concassé?
In French, concasser means "to crush," which is exactly what you do to tomatoes when you make a tomato concasse. It's a French cooking technique that involves scoring and boiling tomatoes in water to loosen the skins for peeling, then seeding and roughly chopping them. Eliminating the peel and seeds takes away any rough or bitter taste, leaving you with silky tomatoes to enjoy raw or made into a sauce.
What You Need to Make Tomato Concassé
- Sharp paring knife: Using a sharp paring knife will give you more control and ensure precise cuts on smaller fruits and vegetables.
- Large pot: Use a large pot to give your tomatoes plenty of room for blanching.
- Slotted spoon: Although optional, a slotted spoon will help you to remove your tomatoes easily and quickly from the pot to avoid overcooking. Remember in this technique, we are quickly immersing the tomatoes in hot water to loosen the skin and not actually cooking them through.
- Ice water bath: Ice water helps to shock the tomatoes and stop them from overcooking.
How to Make Tomato Concassé in 4 Steps
- Blanche and peel your tomatoes. Learn how to peel tomatoes here.
- When the tomatoes are cooled, slice each tomato in half on its “equator” and gently squeeze the seeds out from each half.
- Dice the seeded tomatoes to desired size.
- To dry the concassé further, the tomatoes may be placed in a strainer and allowed to drain. Reserve the flavorful liquid for another use.
5 Recipe Ideas Using Tomato Concassé
- Chef Thomas Keller’s Roasted Zucchini With Sauce Vierge: Roast zucchini halves in the oven until soft and top with a fresh vierge sauce.
- Bruschetta: To make this classic Italian appetizer, combine 1 cup tomato concassé with 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Brush baguette slices with oil and toast until lightly brown. Spoon the tomato mixture generously over each piece of toast.
- Mediterranean Tomato-Cucumber Salad: In a bowl add 1 cup tomato concassé, 1 cup seeded, diced cucumber, 1 cup diced red onion, ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, and ½ cup chopped fresh mint. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Gently toss together.
- Italian Pasta: Combine 2 cups tomato concassé, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup chopped basil leaves, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Let stand while you cook the pasta. Cook 1 pound pasta per the package instructions. Toss tomato sauce with hot pasta. Learn how to make fresh pasta here.
- Mexican Salsa: Combine 2 cups tomato concassé, ¼ cup chopped white onion, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno,1 clove minced garlic 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice, and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Choron Sauce (Tomato-Spiked Béarnaise sauce): Fold 3 tablespoons tomato concassé into 1 ½ cups béarnaise sauce. Blend with an immersion blender until well incorporated. Season with white wine vinegar to taste.
Learn more cooking techniques in Chef Thomas Keller’s MasterClass.