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Ingredient

Beefsteak Tomatoes

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What is it?

Any of several varieties of large tomatoes with thick, plump flesh, a beefsteak has smaller seed cavities and therefore a greater ratio of flesh to juice and seeds than other kinds of tomatoes. It’s good cooked or raw and has an intense tomatoey flavor.

Kitchen math:

1 lb. = about 1-1/2 cups chopped

Don’t have it?

During summer’s tomato season, try other tomato varieties, such as globe or plum. Canned tomatoes can be a good substitute in many cooked tomato recipes, especially when tomatoes are out of season.

How to choose:

Beefsteak varieties are typically (though not always) slightly flattened and sometimes lumpy, with a slightly irregular shape. We’re so used to perfectly shaped supermarket tomatoes that many of us consider an imperfect shape undesirable. That couldn’t be less true. The tomatoes that look the ugliest, including beefsteaks, are often the best tasting. If you don’t grow you own, try a farmer’s market in season for the tastiest tomatoes. Choose those with intact skins and no bruises, that are firm but yielding under gentle pressure, and with a deep color (though not necessarily red as it comes in all colors).

How to prep:

To remove the core, use a sharp paring knife to carve a V-shape around it, or scoop it out with a handy gadget called a tomato shark.

How to store:

Leave tomatoes at room temperature until you’re ready to use them. Refrigeration causes loss of flavor and a mealy texture.

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