Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Ministry of Food

This past week we joined our fourth CSA. I desperately miss our San Francisco CSA, with its dirt-clodded potatoes and jars of local honey. The previous CSAs we've belonged to in Southern California have both featured an abundance of chard and kale, two of my least favorite vegetables. And let me tell you, "abundance" is putting it nicely.

Just so you know: there are a lot of vegetables I don't like. Leafy greens are not the only veggies that I'm hating on. But a CSA gives me the opportunity to see things differently, or at least learn to accept those which I normally abhor.

I'm hopeful about our latest CSA. Silverlake Farms has teamed up with other local farms and The Market on Holly to bring a new CSA to Pasadena--this time with an abundance of choice (and I'm using "abundance" in the best possible way). Yes, I still got a bunch of kale, but it's just one bunch, and I was able to choose between red or purple (purple). I got to choose between cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini, as well as between Japanese turnips, Easter radishes, and bok choy.

Bok choy was definitely the lesser evil.

Looks almost tasty, doesn't it?
Normally, I chop up my bok choy really small and throw it in a bowl of udon. Then I'm eating it and the crunch is only a slight distraction from the slurpy goodness of those thick noodles. This time, however, I wanted something that, well, maybe, I might actually like.

Yay for Epicurious! Salmon with Hoisin, Orange, and Bok Choy was ridiculously easy and ridiculously tasty.

I started with a quick rinse of the bok choy, since slicing it lengthwise revealed some pretty gnarly dirt.

Dip it in a bowl of water so you can swish while the dirt falls to the bottom.

This was a foil-wrapped dish, which made it both easy on the clean-up and elegant in the presentation. First went the bok choy with the salmon on top:

Then I whisked up a quick sauce of a little soy, two generous tablespoons of hoisin (I LOVE hoisin sauce), a healthy dose of grated ginger (I peel a root and keep it in the freezer) and the zest and juice from an orange that was also in the box.

Drizzle that over the salmon, top with chopped cilantro from the CSA box, and wrap up tight.

 Fourteen minutes at 425 degrees revealed this:

The bok choy had practically melted. The orange-hoisin sauce made it delicately sweet and tangy.

It was all right. Everything was all right. The struggle was finished. I had won the victory over myself.

I loved bok choy.


  1. yum yum yum.

    I also like cooking bok choy w/ Oyster Sauce and onions!

  2. Ooh! That would have the same umami-ness that I love in hoisin. Nice!