I went shopping at the Wedge Co-op for new vegetables and came home with radicchio & bok choy. I had no idea what radicchio was. I had eaten bok choy before but only in Chinese restaurants. I wanted to try my hand cooking both at home.
I have often been afraid to shop for fresh vegetables- why? It’s a time thing, a convenience thing. Fresh vegetables often go to waste and I don’t want to waste them. I am unwilling to spend the time cooking them during the week. I have convinced myself it will take too long. I do eat vegetables with most of my meals, but I end up heating frozen vegetables which limits my choices to mostly broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and green beans. It does get dull but it is convenient. I just have to zap it in the microwave and go.
I ate a lot more fresh vegetables this week compared to a normal week and it is a nice change in my diet. I am getting pleasure in cooking outside my comfort zone. This assignment forced me to find new vegetables and recipes with which to prepare them. It has helped demystify the vegetable department and debunk my theory that it’s too complicated or takes too long to cook them. It turns out, not everything is as time intensive as potatoes!
I prepared the following three dishes:
What worked well: It was super simple- buy the veg, cut, toss, bake, and done in 20 minutes. Baking is nice because you can put it in the oven and forget it until the timer goes off. I have good quality balsamic vinegar and that makes all the difference in flavor. It is worth the extra money. I cut the recipe in half as I am cooking for one. I served it as a side with pasta.
What I might change: I didn’t measure the ingredients exactly so I might have used too much olive oil. I would reduce the baking time as it got over toasted- the edges of the leaves were a little charred. I would like to find recipes for salads made with this vegetable.
What worked well: I had a nice bunch of bok choy. The pan was large enough to accommodate the long stems. The garlic was nicely toasted and I used tongs to toss it while frying in the olive oil. I served it with lemon garlic pork roast and mashed potatoes. I mixed the garlic from the bok choy into the mashed potatoes- what a delight!
What I might change: I might need to cut it up into smaller pieces. The recipe said to cook it for 4 minutes but I cooked it for 8 minutes. I didn’t have red pepper flakes as the recipe called for. I would like to try that next time.
What worked well: I used the smaller bunch of bok choy which was the right size for one person. It was quick and easy. The soy sauce added a nice flavor with the ginger and garlic.
What I might change: I overheated the pan and the garlic burnt. I need to get a better frying pan as the one I have seems to get too hot and things stick to it even with oil. I forgot to cut the larger leaves in half so they cooked slower than the skinner leaves and the cooking was uneven.
-Christine M. Mounts