1. Scoring the skin: Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut out the core from the stem end of the tomato. Then cut a shallow X in the skin at the tomato's base.
2. Loosening the skin: Submerge each tomato in the boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove each tomato and submerge in a bowl of cold water.
3. Peeling the tomato: Starting at the X, peel the skin from the tomato, using your fingertips and, if necessary, the knife blade.
4. Seeding the tomato: Cut the tomato in half crosswise. Holding each half over a bowl, squeeze gently to force out the seed sac.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook, by Chuck Williams (Time-Life Books, 2000).