Cherry tomatoes are so good at this time of year, especially if you keep your eyes open for the English varieties. Perfect for snacking, but you'll find them most often in salads. And therein lies the problem.
Although they're a joy to pick up and eat, as soon as you throw cutlery into the equation, cherry tomatoes become slippery little buggers. That perfect tiny sphere is a nightmare to spear or cut, pinging away from your best efforts. More often than not, they'll end up in your lap (or someone else's) rather than your gob. You can chop them up a bit, of course, but you have the same problem with getting a blade to make purchase. That's when things get dangerous.
Rest easy, Readership. I have a way with cherry toms that couldn't be simpler, and makes them a pleasure to use and eat. And all you need are two bowls.
I'm talking about the sort of size receptacle that you'd normally put cereal in. There's a single proviso: one bowl needs to be slightly smaller than the other, so that they'll nest easily together.
All you do is put a handful of tomatoes in the bigger bowl, put the smaller one on top, and push. You'll hear a crack and a squish as the tomatoes break.
And that's it! No muss, no fuss. You now have crushed tomatoes in the bigger bowl, opened up but still in one piece. You can chop or tear them more finely, or leave them as they are. The other benefit: you'll notice that the process has also deseeded your toms, leaving juice and pips behind. Don't waste that juice: run it through a fine sieve back into the smaller bowl, and whisk in a tablespoon of white wine or cider vinegar, three tablespoons of good olive or rapeseed oil, and a little salt. Hey bingo–tomato vinaigrette.
Ooh, hey, I've just realised. You can use the same method to skin garlic. Just put a few cloves into the bigger bowl, and crush as before. You'll need to put a little more muscle in, then just listen for the crack as you bear down. The skins will come away from the cloves without any trouble.
Who said cooking has to be complex? Who said veg prep needs expensive equipment? Not me!