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The Best Ways to Store a Cut Tomato

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: We're weighing the best ways to store cut tomatoes -- apart from in your stomach. 

Blended into gazpacho or cubed for bruschetta, ripe tomatoes regularly take center stage on our dinner tables in August. For lunch (even breakfast, we won't judge) we opt for avocado toast and BLTs with thick, juicy slices of the vibrant fruit. But most of the time, we only slice half of the tomato and wonder what to do with the rest. We automatically think to save it for our next meal, but storing it is a task easier said than done. 

Jacqueline Russo turned to the Hotline to tackle this kitchen conundrum. Though there isn't one surefire method, our community had some great tips on storing cut tomatoes (including our favorite option -- storing them in your stomach). 

  • Irina and ChefJune wrap their cut tomatoes in plastic wrap and keep them in the refrigerator, preferably for a short amount of time. They recommend using them as quickly as possible. 
  • But since tomatoes can develop a slimy texture after only a few hours in plastic wrap, trampledbygeese recommends placing the tomato cut side-down on a plate, covering it with a cotton cloth to deter fruit flies, and leaving it on the counter. 
  • Alternatively, rather than storing them as is, she also suggests turning leftover tomato halves into a small batch of salsa with the addition of shallots or onion, chili flakes, salt, and lime juice. A dollop of salsa can perk up any dish, and the leftovers can be stored in the fridge. 
  • Green thumb? Scoop out the seeds, dry them, and save them to plant next spring, as trampledbygeese does. 
  • Or simply eat it! As Editorial Intern Talia Ralph puts it: "No one ever said eating more tomato was a bad thing, right?" 

Do you have a favorite method for storing cut tomatoes? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

Tags: your burning questions, hotline, tomatoes, storing, vegetables, summer

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Comments (9)


about 1 year ago Anne Marie

I take the unused portion of the nice big juicy tomato & put it in a shallow small bowl & set it in the refrigerator. When I am ready to use it, I take it out & let it get to room temperature or if I am in a hurry I set it in the micro on low for 2-3 minutes.


about 1 year ago 1natalplum

If you want to save the seeds, only non-hybrids with sprout into plants. Heirlooms work well.


about 1 year ago janehelen

I keep it cut side down on plastic wrap on the counter.


about 1 year ago Trudi Brock

Set gently in fridge unwrapped, cut side up or down on a plate and in a prominent place so that it will get finished ASAP.


about 1 year ago kimikoftokyo

i put it in a air tight container. ( just did it a few days ago) put it in the refrigerator, then cut it and put it in my caprese salad sadly, you have to eat that right then on that day things get hard and soggy.


about 1 year ago krystine

in a container on my counter. Storing them in the fridge gives them a mealy texture and causes them to lose flavor.


about 1 year ago bgavin

Cur side down on a plate. And, in our house, tomatoes never ever go in the fridge.


about 1 year ago Andy

We often wrap in plastic wrap and freeze to use in pasta sauce later.


about 1 year ago seth10597

Do you need to do anything before freezing or can you just pick a whole tomato and go right to the freezer?