The Absolute Best Way To Fix Unripe Tomatoes

Enjoying sweet and juicy tomatoes is one of the simple pleasures in life. Using them in a fresh Caprese salad or a smooth bisque are surefire crowd pleasers. Of course, you may simply enjoy sliced ripe tomatoes sliced with a dash of salt.

Not only are tomatoes delicious, but they are also good for you. A single cup of chopped ripe tomatoes contains 25 mg of vitamin C, which is around one third of the daily recommended value for vitamin C for many people (via USDA). In addition, the fruit is rich in folate, niacin, beta-carotene, and other vitamins and minerals.

When something is both tasty and healthy, you may feel tempted to stock up when cruising the farmers' market or produce aisle. However, when you buy in bulk, you may find some of your tomatoes are not fully ripe. We have an easy fix for that if you need them for a sauce and don't have time to let them ripen. Your soup or sauce may even taste as if you made it with vine-ripened tomatoes.

Sweet and saucy

If your tomato sauce is a little tart or just doesn't pop, try this chef-approved hack. To make your tomato taste riper and sweeter, add a splash of red wine vinegar along with a pinch of sugar, according to Andrew Jones, who is executive chef at the Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort in St. Lucia. This hack will make the natural flavors come out in your tomato-based sauce or soup (per People Magazine).

Adding sugar may be obvious since tomatoes grow sweeter as they ripen, but you may be wondering why Chef Jones suggested red wine vinegar. As the "Essentials of Cooking" author James Peterson told the Chicago Tribune, tomatoes are already acidic, but "different kinds of acids ... affect different parts of your mouth. The acid in tomatoes isn't exaggerated by adding vinegars, it's actually balanced."

If you are using fresh tomatoes to make a tomato sauce, you may also find the sauce is too acidic. You can easily fix this by adding a little baking soda to reduce the acidity. Cooking with tomatoes is incredibly forgiving if you know how to fix or prevent the common mistakes people make.

Knowing these flavor-enhancing and balancing hacks means you can stock up on tomatoes and use them with confidence even if they are not sun-ripened to perfection.