Chef Richard Landau

August 5, 2017

Chef Richard LandauTrue to its namesake, Vedge in Philadelphia is a destination for inspiring plates of vegetable-based cuisine. In fact, Vedge is self-described as “a vegetable restaurant.” The iconic cooking of chefs and owners Richard (Rich) Landau and Kate Jacoby has landed them heaps of praise from vegetarians, omnivores and culinary institutions alike.

The kitchen duo now have three Philadelphia restaurants, including V Street (a concept featuring global vegan street fare) and Wiz Kid (a playful vegetarian take on cheesesteaks and other fast, casual food). With nods from the James Beard Foundation and a victory on Food Network’s Chopped, chef Rich has earned prestige in the culinary world through vegetarian cooking.

Naturally, chef Rich is a great source of knowledge for working with vegetables in the kitchen. Here are his tips on working with great local tomatoes and a recipe for an inspiring Heirloom Tomato Salad from his cookbook, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking.


Chef Rich’s Tips for Tons of Tomatoes

Sourcing and Prepping

Get the best tomatoes you can find—make sure they are still a little firm and not mushy. Always wait to cut your tomatoes until right before serving them, and use a very sharp knife to keep the juices locked in.

Favorite Cooking Methods

Enjoy tomatoes raw, sprinkled with flaked salt and coarse pepper or drizzled with olive oil. Forego adding vinegar so that the natural acidity of the tomato can shine through. For cooking, look for plum tomatoes and roma tomatoes. A fresh tomato sauce takes only about 30 minutes to cook. Saute garlic and onion, add chopped tomatoes, season and cook into a chunky paste. You can add a little water and olive oil and simmer for longer before finishing with fresh herbs. This simple sauce is great on anything and is also a versatile base for Latin, Spanish, French, Moroccan and Greek sauces. You can also can your own tomatoes for rich sauces later on.

Recommended Seasonings and Pairings

Pairing tomatoes with basil is so timeless that it’s hard to resist. Tomatoes also go great with dill and olives, or raw red onion for a crunchy counterpart. For an Asian touch, try shiso leaf with some toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of good-quality tamari—it eats like tomato sushi.


Try this recipe by Chef Richard Landau:
Heirloom Tomatoes with Grilled Shiitakes and Green Goddess


Written by Nathan Greenwood
Photo of Richard Landau by Yoni Nimroad

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