Seeding: Lay the tomato on its side and halve with a sharp serrated knife. Squeeze each half firmly enough to push out the seeds. Discard seeds.
Slicing: First core the tomato and lay it on its side. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut a very thin slice off both ends and discard. Slice the tomato to desired thickness.
Peeling: To eliminate the skin in cooked dishes, gently lower 2 or 3 tomatoes at a time into enough boiling water to cover. Boil for 15 to 30 seconds, lift into a colander with a slotted spoon. Rinse briefly under cold running water. Peel off and discard skins.
Stuffing Shells: Lay the tomato on its side and cut a very thin slice off the bottom using a sharp serrated knife. Slice off the top 1/4 of the tomato and discard. (The top minus the core may be chopped and added to the filling.) Using a sharp paring knife and spoon, cut and scoop out the flesh, leaving thickish walls. Salt the cavities lightly and invert on a cooling rack for 15 minutes to drain.Storage: Tomatoes will ripen to a juicy red on their own when stored at room temperature. Refrigeration kills flavor in fresh tomatoes.