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EDIBLE: A Celebration of Local Foods

by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian

April 2010
150 color photographs
ISBN-13: 978-0470371084

Contact: David Greenberg

A gorgeous full-color celebration of America’s local food heroes and traditions, EDIBLE is for anyone who cares about delicious, safe, sustainable food being cultivated and created every day by people in our own backyards. The book offers engaging, inspiring profiles of farmers, artisans, chefs, and organizations that are making a difference, and shares eighty seasonal recipes that highlight the very best local foods across the country. The reassurance of stirring a bubbling pot of Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup or baking a pan of Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce will be bolstered by stories of the people all across the country making a difference in our food systems.

About the Author
In 2002, with more than twenty years of marketing, writing and graphic design experience under her belt, Tracey Ryder co-founded Edible Communities, Inc. as a way to combine these professional skills and enhance her personal values. Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Tracey spent her childhood paddling a canoe and canning vegetables from her family garden. This pure environment, rich with seasonal flavors, taught her that the best way to look at the world was from the ground up. It is this perspective that helps Tracey maintain the grassroots nature of Edible Communities, connecting consumers, farmers, purveyors, chefs and food artisans of all kinds through her community based publications. Carole Topalian, co-founder and vice president of Edible Communities, Inc., travels the world with a gifted and finely tuned photographer’s eye. Carole’s photographs bring the Edible Communities’ mission to life, telling visual narratives about what local food networks look like today. For more information about Tracey and Carole, please visit the Edible Communities, Inc. website: www.ediblecommunities.com/content/about/about-us.htm.

Sample Recipes

Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Courtesy of EdibleVancouver (BC, Canada)

This bread pudding is delicious on its own but is absolutely scrumptious when accompanied by the buttery whiskey sauce. The contrast between the puckery tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the pudding that envelops it is heavenly. This is the perfect dish in which to showcase fresh local rhubarb, but can also be made year-round using frozen rhubarb. (You can also try using pitted fresh or tart cherries, peaches, plums, or apricots.) The bread pudding makes a great dessert, but you might want to try serving it warm for breakfast, drizzled with pure maple syrup.
Makes 6 servings

Bread Pudding
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups day-old cinnamon bread (with or without raisins), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound fresh rhubarb (about 6 hefty stalks), cut into ½-inch slices, or 4 cups frozen rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whiskey Sauce, optional
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons half-and-half
2 tablespoons whiskey
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Stir the bread into the egg mixture, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, pushing the bread down into the liquid from time to time.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and the cinnamon. Gently stir the rhubarb mixture into the bread mixture. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden brown and slightly puffed, about 55 to 65 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for about 30 minutes.

Make the whiskey sauce, if using: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar, half-and-half, whiskey, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To serve, spoon the warm bread pudding into serving bowls and drizzle with warm whiskey sauce.

Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup
Courtesy of Courtney Contos, Inn at Essex, Essex, Vermont/EdibleGreen Mountains (Vermont)

Skiing, sledding, sugaring-Vermont’s cold weather activities, enjoyed even through the cool spring months-leave you exhilarated. And hungry! A bowl of this soup featuring Vermont sharp cheddar and Long Trail Ale will keep you warm as you cozy up to the fire. Although the recipe is not complicated, there are some tricks when cooking with cheese: Remember not to boil the soup once the cheese has been added; keep it at a low simmer, and stir until all the cheese has been blended into the soup.

Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 bottle (12 ounces) ale, such as Long Trail
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, preferably aged Grafton or aged Cabot (rind removed, if necessary), grated
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional
1/4 cup Sweet Heat (jalapeño-infused maple syrup) or pure maple syrup, optional

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the milk, broth, and ale in a steady stream. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Decrease the heat to low. Discard the bay leaves. Add the cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Serve hot, sprinkled with bacon and drizzled with Sweet Heat, if using.

This recipe may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipes from EDIBLE: A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian
(Wiley, April 2010, $29.95/hardcover)

Categories : Spring 2010

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