This month’s theme for Recipe Redux: The First Shoots of Spring! How fun! The challenge was to create a recipe using any edible plants found consuming the produce section of your markets. A total opportune time worth branching out and exploring other types of plants blooming this time of year.
I have to confess that when I learned of this month’s theme I actually googled ‘edible plant’. Asparagus, kale, broccoli, rhubarb, and leeks are among the 7,000 some odd options I could choose from. I decided on the bok choy plant.
Why? Because I just thought it sounded cool…
Plus, one of the beauties of bok choy is its versatility. The whole plant is edible; from the crunchy stalks to the tender leaves– even the young flowering shoots are edible- it’s like two veggies in one!
Just go with it..and here’s why:
The stalks of bok choy are easily added to anything you wish. They aren’t fibrous even though the plant is sometimes called celery cabbage. They are tender, and particularly good when thrown in at the end of a stir fry. They are also yummy without even cooking them. Shredded and added with other types of cabbage- super easy slaw paired with a lean protein. Don’t forget the leaves- really tender and juicy, with a mild flavor. Sadly they can be forgotten- just like that of celery.
This recipe- I used both.
I initially sauteed the onions and proscuitto together, but I’ve decided that I would do it differently upon making this again in the future- as reflected in the recipe below.
Toss your stems in first to soften them up a bit..
Rather than making a slurry to thicken up a sauce, I added the flour straight to the pot for two reasons-
partly mainly because it was easier, and two it will quickly cook out that flour/gummy flavor that sometimes takes a some time to deal with.
Typically a really heavy dish, gratins get a bad rap- lostsa butter, lotsa cream, and there is always bacon.
No heavy cream, whole milk, or half and half needed here! 1% is what I had in my fridge, so that’s what I used!
This would also be the point where you add your tender bok leaves.
The result was a super creamy mixture that I couldn’t help but burn my mouth for a taste. I know what’s going to happen- but I continue to do it- a scalded mouth teaches me no lesson.
Good thing my mom never did the whole ‘Let her touch a hot stove once and she’ll never do it again..‘
Bold. Stinky. Oh, so GOOD Gruyere.
Finishing touches to my gratin filling.
Poured into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray, and I sprinkled it with parmesan and panko for the crunch I love in gratin dishes.
This lightened up Comfort Casserole was so delicious- I had fun coming up with a recipe not typical when using this edible plant.
I can’t wait to see what the other Reduxer’s have come up with!