One day Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian compiled a little newsletter about food in Ojai. They dubbed it Edible Ojai and for a couple of years they toiled in not quite obscurity. Noticed by Saveur, Edible Ojai was featured in their top 100 for 2004. In the tiny blurb, the authors expressed a desire for their concept to, “crop up everywhere.” Be careful what you wish for!
Over the next few years about 60 local “edibles” sprang up; from Ojai to Boston, from Portland to Orlando and my closest -- Edible Allegheny.
It was only natural to envision a cookbook culled from all those “edible” editions celebrating local foods, farmers and artisans. Actually, like most of their publications, Edible is more than a cookbook, it is a hymn to those local individuals who have dedicated their lives to producing, maintaining, and promoting local foods.
Here’s a recipe from Edible Memphis.
For someone who always saw collards cooked for at least 2 hours, this is a great way to cook them quickly.
Collard Tops with Parmigiano
1 bunch (about 1 1/4 pounds) collard tops or broccoli rabe (including flowers and stems), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 f. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch (partially cook) the collards until bright green and slightly tender, about 2 minutes. In a colander, drain the collards, then plunge the greens into the ice water. Drain well and squeeze dry; set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Lightly grease a 1-quart casserole pan. In a medium bowl, combine the collards, cream mixture, cheese, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Cover with the lid or foil and bake until the cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Check out the Edible Communications web site to find an Edible publication in your area. If there isn’t one… you know you always wanted to be magazine publisher!