How To Grate Tomatoes (Ntomata sto Trifti)

Grated tomatoes are a common ingredient in Greek recipes. I had never heard of grating tomatoes before I started my Greek food adventure, but it’s an elegant solution that predates food processors to the problem of obtaining fresh tomato puree. (Although you can indeed use a food processor.) By grating the tomatoes you essentially remove the meat from the skin, rather than vice versa, thus obtaining skinless tomato pulp. The method I learned from Zoe is illustrated in the photographs below. All you do is cut the stem-aand-shoulders end of the tomatoes and then grate them on a box grater. Alternatively, you could cut the tomatoes in half cross-wise and remove the seeds before grating them. I’ve hardly ever bothered to make tomato concasse since I learned of this technique.

Tomatoes with their tops sliced off, ready to be grated.
Place the tomato on the coarse holes of a box grater, skinless side down, and…begin!

Beginning to grate tomato

Grate to remove as much of the pulp as you can from the skin, but don’t grate the tomato skin or your own skin!

Mostly grated...
You’ll end up with a bowl of tomato pulp (which can be frozen) and some skins that you can either discard or use in stock.

Tomato pulp on the left, skins on the right.

Recipes that use grated tomato:

Beef with Artichokes (Moschari me Agkinares)

Beef with Green Beans (Moschari me Fasolakia)

Beef with Quince (Moschari me Kydonia)

Calamari Cooked in Wine (Kalamarakia Krasata)

Eggs Scrambled In Tomatoes (Strapatsada)

Fried Eggplant with Garlicky Tomato-Vinegar Sauce (Tiganites Melitzanes me Skordo kai Ntomata)

Peppers in Tomato Sauce with Feta (Piperies me Feta)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Makaronia me Kima)

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and Myzithra Cheese (Makaronada)

Tomato-Pepper Sauce (Saltsa me Ntomata kai Piperia)

Zoe’s Green Beans (Fasolakia tis Zoes)


  1. Comment by Sam Sotiropoulos


    Yes, tomatoes figure pretty prominently in Greek food. Greece is actually the third largest producer of tomatoes on the planet, after the USA and Italy.

    Considering you’re on a Greek food adventure, you just might be interested in my own Greek food blog:

    Be Well,

    Sam Sotiropoulos

  2. Comment by lulu

    Hi Sam, thanks for visiting. I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    Hey, that’s a really interesting food-fact about Greece. I’m surprised she’s ahead of Spain. That’s great!

  3. Comment by Randy Minck

    thanks for the great instruction and photos! I’m cooking Tapas and they do a lot of tomato grating… wasnt quite sure how to do it.

  4. Comment by lulu

    Welcome, Randy! Glad this helped!

  5. Comment by Lea Prikker

    Finally I know what “grated tomatoes” means. Twice I Made Moussaka with a tin of tomatoes and the result was a lot of juice at the bottom.I’ll try again!!

  6. Comment by Lulu

    Hi, Lea! Hmm, canned tomato sauce is what Mama uses for moussaka because she usually makes it in the winter. The tomato sauce (whether canned or freshly grated) should be cooked with the meat until most of the moisture is gone. Maybe you didn’t cook the meat sauce long enough?

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    […] because when you are ready to eat cover them with a tomato sauce made with two large, fresh grated tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves( grated), some olive oil, salt and pepper, left in the fridge for an hour […]

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  9. Comment by Jazzy

    Wonderful! I been a learner at making homemade everything from scratch. thanks for this info I want to make my own tomato sauce.

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  11. Comment by Stacy

    Can you get the same results with a food mill?

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