14

I've seen and read online, and experienced firsthand, that refrigerating a tomato is an awful idea. Not only does it lose freshness, it does little to prevent wilting and leads to flavorless tomato.

But, eventually a tomato needs to be cut if it's going to be used in slices (for say, a sandwich), and I hate to throw it out when there's still a full half of the fruit left.

How can I preserve the tomato after it has been cut, without putting it in a refrigerator and spoiling the freshness?

  • 3
    Sprinkle some salt on it and eat it on the side, problem solved. :) – MikeTheLiar Jan 30 '15 at 14:29
4

Doing a bit of Googling, it seems that there are a couple of different methods but I think the one that will please you best is to:

  1. put a piece of plastic wrap on the cut side only
  2. place it cut side down on a plate or plastic container
  3. leave it on the counter

Some recommend putting it in the fridge regardless, as the cut side is prone to bacterial infection.

I would probably recommend using it within 24 hours, though. Maybe add it to a salad at dinner?

Personally, I just eat the rest of the tomato along with the rest of my lunch sandwich.

Source: Fine Cooking Among others. There was a good deal of consensus on this issue.

  • My only issue with this is that we tend to use only a few slices of tomato for dinner, then when lunch comes along the next day there isn't much call for it anymore. With a 24-hour limit, it sounds like there won't be any really good way to preserve it for long. Maybe just having it as a snack on the side? – Zibbobz Jan 29 '15 at 20:25
  • 2
    The Fine Cooking site actually says two days but I just (personally) don't feel comfortable with that... I live in a very hot climate where, during the summer, I'm lucky if I can keep my house under 80 degrees during the day. I fully stand behind the choice to cut the remainder in wedges, hit with some salt and pepper (oooh, maybe some balsamic?) and just eat it along with the sandwich. – Catija Jan 29 '15 at 20:27
6

I peel and seed the leftovers, freeze them, and use them the next time I make tomato sauce or marinara.

3

I think your best option may be to vacuum seal the leftover tomato and refrigerate it. I think everyone has run across the dilemma of what to do with the leftover piece and, while it doesn't happen often, it does happen. (For me, it usually happens when I make a sandwich for lunch and only use a slice or two.)

Being frustrated so many times at having saved the tomato in the fridge and then throwing it away when I took it out, on a whim I tried the vacuum sealer and saved it in the refrigerator. After two days when I took the tomato out to use, it was virtually unchanged, almost like I had just cut it.

I haven't tried any long term storage, just 2 - 3 days max. Best solution I've found so far.

0

My Dad has a tomato storage container. It reminds me of chicken shaped roll baskets, or toaster covers that look like a forest cottage. It's a red plastic tomato that you twist apart and you put the cut tomato inside and place it in the fridge. Tomatoes placed in it actually stay fresh longer.

  • 2
    Could you provide a picture of this container? Your description doesn't quite give a good image of what it looks like. – Zibbobz Jan 30 '15 at 14:41
  • @Zibbobz This type of product is called a "tomato saver" or "tomato keeper", a google image search on either of these phrases reveals several different types. – Random832 Jan 30 '15 at 18:15
  • @Random832 I've noticed after looking it up. The only reason I haven't made a suggested edit with such a picture is because I don't know if it's the same type of container that Hildred is using - there could be differences in the functionality. – Zibbobz Jan 30 '15 at 18:17
  • 1
    @Zibbobz I assume the main benefit over a generic airtight container is that by having a single designated container for tomatoes, you're encouraged to use yesterday's tomato or throw it out before cutting a new tomato. – Random832 Jan 30 '15 at 18:19
  • I googled for some more information and apparently many of these have a raised pattern in the bottom to prevent the tomato from sitting in a pool of juice. Not sure if @hildred's has the same feature, but it seems likely. – Random832 Jan 30 '15 at 18:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.