I finally tracked down a CSA near enough for me to make the weekly pick-ups pretty easily. Last night was our first pick-up.
In this week's bag: peas, kale, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and bok choy. I was afraid we'd get too much to handle but this feels do-able.
Both my daughter and I are fans of certain raw vegetables, straight off the vine. The raw peas made a very tasty appetizer while I was washing everything and figuring out what I was going to make for dinner.
My husband was out for the evening at a work thing, so it was just my vegetarian daughter and I. We decided to go on a cooking adventure and just make it up as we went. Well, "we" being in the royal sense, as it turned out. Normally my daughter does like to help cook but she had two late nights in a row so she begged off; I stuck her with loading the dishwasher after dinner instead. Not a bad trade-off, in my mind. I got to play with new toys, so to speak, as I messed around with new-to-me-produce, and she did most of the kitchen clean-up.
I wasn't as creative with the salmon as I could've been--just sprinkled some five-spice seasoning on it and baked it. I spent too much mental energy on the bok choy. Bok choy is something I've never cooked before, although I've eaten it plenty of times in Asian foods--usually in soups, I believe, although a lot of the Burmese meals I get to eat with my new arrival friends probably have it as well.
I put together a concept in my head and then checked my ideas by some recipes online. Yep! I was in the right ballpark. And it turned out mighty tasty, if I do say so myself! So, here's my recipe for this week:
Sandy's Sauteed Bok Choy
2 bunches bok choy, chopped into 1-2" pieces.
1/2 medium onion, diced or sliced thin
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
garlic to taste (garlic powder or fresh garlic)
2-3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- Heat oil, then add onion and ginger and saute for a few minutes until onion begins to turn translucent.
- Add garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add bok choy and saute until it cooks down slightly, then add soy sauce.
- Saute for about 7-8 minutes, or until bok choy stems are crisp-tender.
- As usual with my own recipes, all amounts are approximate and depend on what you've got on hand, as well as personal taste. I had three or four bunches of bok choy but a couple of them were quite small, so knowing what I typically see available in the grocery story, I'm thinking two larger bunches would be the equivalent. I just used garlic powder this time but fresh garlic would be better, as fresh usually is.
- I used low-sodium soy sauce and didn't add any other salt. If you use regular soy sauce, you may want to use less. This was just about the right saltiness for me.
- The bok choy, like any leafy green when you put it in heat, cooks down quite a bit. Using all four bunches that we'd gotten gave me barely enough for my daughter and I, and you can see our servings weren't that big.
The Farmer's Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Your CSA and Farmer's Market Foods, by Julia Shanks and Brett Grohsqal (CreateSpace, 2012). Looks good, but no pictures with recipes. I miss having pictures. Looking forward to trying the recipes, though.
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (Jones Books, 2004). Again with the no-pictures-thing. When I'm trying to identify produce, a nice color picture would be extremely helpful.
Both of these books have good tips on storage, as well as a wealth of recipes. I have another book I've requested through my public library that was recommended by a friend--I'll let you know about that one when I get it.
I'll leave you with a moment of quilting inspiration...Swiss chard stems.
(Match those up to your color wheels, why don't you?)