An article in the New York Times yesterday attempted to make a point that those processed foods that we all grew up with still have some relevance in today’s kitchen. To emphasize the point, many chefs were interviewed about their go to processed food; one snacks on american cheese while cooking, another loves his Hellmans and yet another has gone to great lengths to replicate Heinz 57 catsup. All I can really say is “really?”
First of all, most chefs are about as much of an authority on nutrition and health as the bus boys that clean up their messes. I’m sure some do take nutrition seriously and I know that many of the culinary schools incorporate it into their curriculum. But professional chefs are service employees that must please their public, regardless of how adoring they might be. And many are not the pictures of health themselves. Two words: Paula Dean.
Second, the crap on the shelves of supermarkets is crap, period. Yes, there may be a guilty pleasure tucked up between the toilet paper and the garbage bags but generally not. There are also varying degrees of crap. You have to always read the label.
I am not trying to be a snotty stick in the mud. I love doritos. But I am not condoning the regular intake of such junk. And the excuse that we ate it as kids so it is good now is both shallow and inaccurate. I ate dirt when I was a kid. I don’t keep a big bag of it in the back of my kitchen to snack on while I make others wonderful, organic, local vegan delights. All the article ended up saying was that the chefs were hypocrites and so was the writer. I’m still staying out of the center isles and when I do go in I take a list and read the ingredients. If I can’t pronounce something, I put it back. I could care less if Michael Thingy from Napa eats Skippy.
I’ve had this recipe on my mind for months now. The collard greens could also be spinach or just about any other dark leafed green vegetable. And this spread can be used for other delights than pizza. I had it last night on a toasted baguette. It would work well into a pasta and served warm with steak or chicken.
- 1 Bunch Collard Greens
- 1 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and cut in half
- 1 Tin Anchovies
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Crumbled Walnuts
- 1/2 Cup Raisins (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
- Pizza Skins
- Parmesan or Pecorino
- Large Pot
- Sauté Pan
- Chef’s Knife
- Food Processor
- Pizza Stone
- Pizza Peal
- Peeler for shaving cheese
- Blanch the collard greens in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Let cool and pat dry.
- Tear the leaves into pieces, removing the tough center stem.
- Heat olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and collard greens and sauté until the collards are really wilted and start to soften.
- Add the anchovies with their oil, olives, walnuts, and vinegar. If you are using raisins, skip the vinegar.
- Pepper but do not salt. The salt from the anchovies is plenty.
- Cook for about 20-30 minutes on low heat.
- Let cool.
- Process lightly. You still want it to be fairly chunky.
- Spread evenly on the pizza skin.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Drizzle with olive oil and shave some parmesan or pecorino over top and serve.
- Store leftover spread in a container with a lid and refrigerate.