My friend runs a farm just on the edge of the city, and its first harvestable produce is beginning to take flight — into my hands. And my kitchen. And my bowl. And on my blog. Spring is here — as if I hadn’t told you a million times already — and this makes me happy. My kitchen too.
Now please excuse me while I take this next moment to praise the earth for baby bok choy.
Praise earth. Baby bok choy. Coming to a farmer’s market near you soon (or so I hope).
Its leafy greens are my first taste of the ground this year. (And I mean that quite literally – make sure to wash your bok choy extra well if you don’t want to swallow some dirt.) As tender as ever, early young greens are the best.
This past week, I took a trip out to the farm after work to help toil some soil and sow a few seeds/starters into the ground. Radicchio was farm-boy’s starter of choice for the night, so into the ground we put plant after plant after radicchio plant.
Each one was so small sometimes I began feeling like a nervous mom, wondering how they’d all survive a night without me. I’ve planted my fare share of infants though, so fortunately I walked away with confidence knowing they’d take root. And that has nothing to do with my gardening skills – plants are tough little guys! I’m excited to watch the baby radicchio leaves, with their ever so faint pink streaks, grow into the mighty magenta that makes spring salads shine.
It always feels good to get my hands and jeans dirty, even if for just a couple of hours. City living or not, I’ll always be a farm girl at heart.
Perhaps with that comes an endless excitement for new harvests and crisp produce. I took this bok choy home with me from the farm and whipped it up the very same night. Simple dishes like these can be ever so satisfying when your produce is fresh. As any gardner, farmer, or farmer’s market enthusiast knows, spring is the golden season of all good things to come. The freshness just keeps trickling in until you have a steady stream of items to swap in and out of your diet. Just wait. Once strawberries arrive, I’ll be taking more than a small moment at the front of my blog to praise the earth for its fruit. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
Be on the lookout for baby greens. If you can’t find bok choy, opt for something else that’s on the slightly bitter side, which will pair nicely with the Hoisin sauce in this recipe. This will serve 4 as a light meal, but to pump it up, feel free to crack an egg on top.
This serves 4 as a light meal or 3 as a more substantial dinner. Feel free to crack an egg on top can make this meal a bit heartier for 4.
- -3 Tbsp. olive oil
- -8 med. cloves garlic, diced
- -8 oz. baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
- -7-8 cups chopped baby bok choy, thoroughly washed (It'll seem like a lot, but it cooks down)
- -Salt and pepper, to taste
- -1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
- -1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -Soy sauce, to drizzle
- -Toasted sesame oil, optional
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- -1 avocado, diced and sprinkled with salt
- -5-7 cups cooked bulgur wheat, or grain of choice
- Heat olive oil over medium high. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown. Stir in mushrooms, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute 5-6 minutes, until nearing tender. Then add Hoisin sauce and chili pepper flakes.
- Stir in bok choy. Cook 7-8 minutes, or until tender.
- Drizzle cooked bulgur wheat/grain lightly with soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil, if using. Top with stir-fry and diced avocado. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.