Bok Choy Joy
All About Bok Choy
Bok choy is an ancient brassica (cabbage) that’s available nearly year-round in markets, but it’s especially good in the spring for enjoying its more succulent fresh stalks and “baby” variety. Despite its sweet, earthy flavor and high nutritional value, bok choy is generally under-appreciated beyond the classic stir-fry. Too bad for that; when it’s thinly sliced and mixed raw in a salad or braised until tender, this hardy veg has a culinary presence all its own—including right beside cheese.
Look for firm stalks and vibrant leaves when choosing bok choy. Th small baby varieties are especially sweet and can be cooked quickly without separating the leaves from the stalks. To prepare, slice a round off the bottom so you can rinse the dirt from the stalk’s hollow. Then cook it fast or slow, and pair it with your favorite spring cheese, or try it in these simple dishes:
How to Cook Bok Choy
Lightly sauté sliced baby bok choy in olive oil and garlic. Let cool, then toss with cooked beets, red onion, and a good feta for a satisfying warm salad.
Braise either adult or baby bok choy in a little stock until just tender (adjust the cooking time according to size). Finish with shards of pecorino, Gruyère, or Parmigiano Reggiano. Run under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown, and melt the cheese just before serving.
Cut out 4-inch squares of store-bought puff pastry. Sauté chopped bok choy and spring onions in olive oil until tender. Let cool, and mix with a generous measure of grated smoked Gouda. Mound the vegetable-cheese mixture in the center of the pastry squares, and bake in a 400°F oven until the pastry is golden.
Written by Emily Gold
Photography by Shutterstock