Monday, November 21, 2011

Something Old and Something New

Let me preface this post by saying: I am doing a terrible job on the cadence of this blog. Sorry, really and truly. It's annoying.

You know by now about the Tyranny of the Vegetables, also known as the fall season Capay Valley Farm Box.

I really like the Valley Box because the food is super local and I love eating seasonally. However, two weeks ago, we had a real... incident. The Farm Box gave me bok choy. Two whole bags of it. Ten little heads of bok choy.

I hate bok choy.

I thought I had bok choy on my Farm Box "Do Not Send" list but I guess it fell off, because I found myself unpacking more bok choy than I would ever want, the amount I would want being none, of course.

I also unpacked something I'd never cooked before: delicata squash.

Let's start with my produciary nemesis: bok choy.

Produciary is totally a word, ok? 

When I first moved to San Francisco, bok choy would arrive in the Farm Box every week. Evidently, it grows year round in Northern California. Lucky me.

My primary complaint about this vegetable is that it's boring. It's fairly flavorless. And every recipe I find has it steamed with some combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and chile. I'm not that into vegetables that can be cooked only one way. Like so much in life, I grow bored quickly and require new options. I like my veggies promiscuous.

Bok choy is basically the Catholic Nun of vegetables.

After searching high and low for a new bok choy recipe that I could make with ingredients I had at home, I ended up adapting a recipe from this Everyday Food one.

Yeah. Soy, ginger, garlic, chile.


Sauteed Baby Bok Choy with All the Usual Flavors

5 heads of baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 squirt (maybe a teaspoon?) sriracha

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Prepping the garlic and the ginger.

2. Add bok choy leaves and toss to coat. (Tongs are super helpful when making this recipe.) Cook leaves until they become crisp-tender at the base, about five minutes.

3. Add pepper flakes and sesame oil and toss to coat.

4. Remove from heat and add soy sauce and sriracha. Toss to coat again.

I realize this barely looks different from the photo above but in this one it's sauced with soy and sriracha and it just a teeny bit browner, I swear.

To offset the bummer bok choy (which tasted fine but still BORING), I am happy to announce my new love: delicata squash.

This stuff is fantastic. You don't have to peel it (like butternut, which drives me crazy) and it has a wonderful flavor that's pumpkin-y and acorn-squash-y. I could eat this stuff like candy.

My preparation for the squash was super-simple.



Slice and toss with olive oil and salt.  Roast at 425 degrees.

I finished the squash with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, and some grated parmesan. That's the recipe. And it's delicious. Make this! It's so good. This might have to be on the Thanksgiving menu. I may well fly across the country with a few of these stripy gorgeous treats.

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