Chef Jon Amann

August 5, 2017

Chef Jon Amann

Chef Jon Amann’s BYOB in Downingtown is a mecca for inventive, farm fresh and seasonal cuisine. The award-winning plates at Amani’s BYOB are a testament to chef Jon’s creativity using the area’s bounty. Of course, locally grown vegetables play a huge part in fueling what comes out of chef Jon’s kitchen. Here are his tips for tomatoes and leafy greens, along with his fabulous recipe for Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho (with blue crab and citrus poached shrimp, too!).


Chef Jon’s Tips for Heirloom Tomatoes and Leafy Greens

Sourcing and Prepping

Avoid brown tips on the leaves and greens with excess moisture when selecting leafy vegetables. The brown is a sign of heat exposure, and too much water will cause the leaves to rot prematurely. With head lettuces such as bibb, iceberg or romaine, look for tight heads—this indicates the lettuce has good yield and was grown in optimal conditions.

Look for good coloration (a sign of ripeness) when selecting heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms can vary widely in their appearance, so search the variety to see how it should look when ripe.

Also, look for bruises and cracks in the skin, as these should be avoided.

Favorite Cooking Methods

The obvious use for leafy greens is salads, but wilting them can be just as good. Shredded lettuce adds wonderful texture to dishes like fish tacos, or atop a piece of grilled fish. Make sure you slice the lettuce as thin as possible to get the right effect.

Try a simple stewed heirloom tomato broth with fish. You can also make your own heirloom tomato barbecue sauce for basting ribs and chicken on the grill!

Recommended Seasonings and Pairings

Try wilting arugula and serving it with grilled swordfish. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the whole plate. The peppery flavor of the arugula complements the char of the grill on the fish perfectly.

Smoking heirloom tomatoes imparts a robust flavor that resonates throughout a dish, and also complements crab and shrimp nicely. Heirloom tomatoes also make a great match for locally grown spicy peppers like serranos.


Try this recipe by Chef Jon Amann:
Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, with Blue Crab and Citrus Poached Shrimp


Written by Nathan Greenwood
Photo of Jon Amann by Hoffer Photography

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Instagram Feed

  • Had a chance to showcase all our farmer videos, that were created for 2018 PA Produce Month promotions, at the MidAtlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention. These were released last year in conjunction with PA veggie recipe videos. Head to paveggies.org to see and share them all. #paveggies #paproduce #pennsylvania #vegetables #produce #knowyourfarmer #isitaugustyet
  • Staying true to our mission by delivering marketing and research benefits on the spot at the MidAtlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetables #fruit #farmer #convention #visithersheyharrisburg
  • With that sunshine, it’s a good day to be in a greenhouse. But we’re fine and dandy at the MidAtlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, amongst our fellow farmers, learning and networking. #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetables #veggies #fruit #local #farmers
  • Double tap if we can expect to see you at the PA Farm Show in January. #Repost @pafarmshow 
#PennsylvaniasStory #PAFS19 #pennsylvania #agriculture #papreferred #fruit #vegetables #growers #makers
  • Double tap if you like our new brochures. Farmers - would you like to include these in your marketing efforts? Get in touch with us today! #paveggies #paproduce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #vegetables #papreferred #buyfreshbuylocalpa #knowyourfarmer
  • Brought to you by @papreferred and the PA Department of Agriculture, the 2018 Farm to Institution Wholesaling Workshop will take place on December 4th and 5th at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA from 8:30am to 4:30pm. In its second year, the workshop will help small to mid-sized farm operations who are interested in successfully accessing institutional markets but are unable to integrate plans to diversify with their current model while also accommodating institutional wholesale pricing. Applications will be accepted through November 20th and may be completed online (see link in bio). If farmers have questions about the workshop or need to apply via phone, they may contact Elaine Lemmon at elaine@kitchentableconsultants.com or 267.606.0391. #paveggies #papreferred #buyfreshbuylocalpa #farmers #pennsylvania #localfood #wholesale #farming #agriculture #realfood #farmbusiness
  • A nice reminder this time of year! #Repost @thetowndish
・・・
PA Pumpkin PSA: Don’t Toss Them! 
Did you know that 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkin grown in the US ends up in the landfill? 
Compost or cook those pumpkins. 🎃 And don’t forget to roast the seeds! Full recipe in bio. 👌🏻
Happy Halloween! 🎃 #PAEats
  • Anyone else have a potato pile mounting in their kitchen? Keep them dry and well ventilated! They do best when placed in a well-ventilated container (paper bag or bowl works) and stored in a dry location, away from sunlight, and at temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees F. Refrigerator temperatures tend to increase their sweetness and make them brown very quickly when fried. #potatoes #storage #storageveggies #paveggies #seasonal #vegetables #pennsylvania #rootveggies #buyfreshbuylocalpa #papreferred #paproduce #homegrownhappiness
  • What local vegetable will you miss the most as fall gives way to winter? #paveggies #pennsylvanialife #buyfreshbuylocalpa #homegrownhappiness #vegetables #pennsylvania #produce #eatwell #local #food #farmtotable

Follow Me!

Follow PA Veggies