With a day job that has little relevance to my skill set and education, I’m often operating outside of my comfort zone. At the end of each work week, you can always tell just how far I’ve traveled by looking at my fingernails; the more chewed and ragged, the more challenge faced. My nails aren’t looking so hot right now – I know some R&R is needed.
Of course I don’t find expanding outside of my culinary comfort zone quite as taxing. (Plus, my hands are kept busy so that I can’t torment my nails.) This week, I experimented with organic baby bok choy from Lancaster Farm Fresh that I picked up at the Piazza Market. Lancaster Farm Fresh is a non-profit cooperative of 64 farmers in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. They serve Eastern PA up to New York City and sell certified organic produce and pasture-raised animal products. The cooperative also supports farmers that use environmentally friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. This means no pesticides; an important point following the recent release of a government report suggesting that industrial chemicals in our environment are making Americans sick. Check out the New York Times coverage of this story… it really makes you think.
But I digress. Bok choy is often used in Asian dishes, particularly Korean Kimchi, but I’m not really into picked side dishes. I opted for an easier concept with inspiration from the Steamy Kitchen which features a great tutorial for bok choy beginners. And since bok choy is a green vegetable, you know it’s healthy. It’s a member of the cabbage family; high in vitamins A and C and a good source of folic acid and beta carotene. Bok choy contains some of the most potent cancer-fighting compounds, namely glucosinolates, which also are responsible for the vegetable’s bitter taste.
If you like bitter foods and garlic, this recipe is for you. While I generally prefer a sweeter taste (I imagine next time I work with bok choy I will experiment with honey), this recipe fits in perfectly with a work week largely spent outside my comfort zone. Thank goodness for the weekends!
Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger
- 3 bunches baby bok choy
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (you can use fresh, too)
- 1/8 cup dry white wine, water or broth (I used Pinot Grigio)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by trimming the stem off, just the end, to ensure that the bok choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
- Finely mince garlic. Heat olive oil in wok or frying pan. Add garlic and ginger to heated pan.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves.
- Toss very well to coat each leaf with the flavored oil for approximately 15 seconds.
- Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.