Sometimes I get carried away. At the farmer's market I often get carried away. I'll be wandering the rows, peering at the various stands, sampling the bounty of Milwaukee farms, and I just can't help loading up my earth-friendly tote with produce. It's like the stuff leaps out at me. Needless to say, I return home from my Saturday morning jaunts a bit over-burdened with veggies.
The Bok Choy Situation was born of such a visit to the farmer's market.
I found this bok choy at the market, and it was ridiculous. It was ginormous. It had all these crazy spindly stalks like the legs of a million gawky middle schoolers. And I couldn't live without it.
Of course, I brought it home regardless of the fact that I'd never cooked bok choy. I wasn't even sure I liked the stuff.
So, when I went to slay the beast, I consulted my trusty tome, Joy of Cooking. Irma Rombauer and the gang know all there is to know about everything, so I figured they'd have the answer. And they did!
In order to prepare bok choy, you need to separate the stems and rinse them well. Now, this is no joke. That bok choy was dirty. And not just, oh a little piece here and there. I'm talking Christina Aguilera dirrrty-style dirty. Proof:
Once it's squeaky clean (I rinsed it in my salad spinner about five times), slice the stems and the leaves and cook them separately because the leaves will cook faster. I decided to steam it: place a steamer basket over 1-2 inches of boiling water. Place the stems in the basket. Cover and cook about two minutes. Add the leaves, cover, and cook about eight more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (By that I mean lots.)
Now, in the spirit of honesty, I'm not sure that bok choy will be a regular at our dinner table. When I served it for dinner with a stir-fry, the husband daintily picked an offending piece from his main course. "This went into my cashew chicken," he said. I took the hint.
If you like "greens," I suggest giving bok choy a chance. And if you just can't resist giant vegetables at the farmer's market, it's certainly worth the challenge.