Rainbow Chard & Pea Carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara has been eluding me. In the past, things would go wrong: not enough egg to create a silky sauce; too high heat so the pancetta burned; wrong kind of cheese so that the whole dish tasted funky.

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis should know that when I find something to be culinarily challenging, I’ll keep returning to it until I’m satisfied. Plus, who wouldn’t want to master spaghetti carbonara– eggs, cheese, bacon, so delicious not to mention that it’s a super fast meal to throw together when pressed for time.

The other challenge to spaghetti carbonara for me? Trying to find a way to make myself feel a little better about eating it. In this case, I had rainbow chard and shell peas from the CSA. I thought that the bright burst of green vegetables would not only make this a dish as pretty to look at as it is to eat, but that it’d be a great way to punch up the nutritional value of this meal. It turned this pasta dish into a one pot meal since the fresh vegetables mixed in meant that I could skip out on making a side salad… or at least so I convinced myself.

With three eggs, 4 slices of bacon, some garlic that sizzled in the bacon fat, and 6 oz of ground up Parmesan cheese, I achieved the right balance for a silky sauce and the chard and peas brightened up the flavors. Fast, seemingly healthy, filling, yet light– perfecto!

  • 3/4 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • olive oil
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 6 oz Parmesan cheese, ground in a food processor
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
  • 1/2 pound shell peas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Boil water, salt it, and cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp then remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. While bacon cooks, beat eggs in a large mixing bowl and grind cheese in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add cheese to the eggs along with 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix until combined. Add garlic to the bacon fat and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the rainbow chard and peas and cook until chard is wilted and peas are bright green. When spaghetti is cooked to al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Quickly toss spaghetti in egg and cheese mixture, tossing to coat each noodle in the sauce. Add pasta water as needed to achieve sauce consistency. Mix in cooked vegetables. Plate and serve immediately, topping with parsley and more cheese as desired.

CSA Count: 4

Rainbow chard, shell peas, garlic, parsley

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Snow Pea & Radish Salad

I bet that this post won’t get many hits. Snow peas? Radishes? Sounds boring right?

But in this salad’s defense, I’ll say that I was surprisingly pleased. For one thing, this salad is so refreshing on a hot day: chilled in the fridge, the snap peas and radishes stay crisp and are full of cool, hydrating water.  The lemony dressing and grassy dill are bright in flavors, pairing nicely with tangy, creamy blue cheese.

Then there are the colors: vibrant magenta and purple from the Easter egg radishes pop against that deep jade green of the snow peas. It’s a feast for the eyes, making this salad look and taste more exciting than what you’d expect from just hearing the ingredients. During these hot, late summer days, try a scoop of this salad next to food fresh off your grill. You’ll be pleasantly surprised too.

Note: Snow peas have to be trimmed of the tough fiber that holds the pod together, unless you want to see your fellow diners spitting out chunks of the pod. Simply twist the flowering end of the pod and peel down. If there’s no flower end, peel along the side where you can see the peas are attached inside the pod.

  • 3/4 lb snow peas, ends trimmed and fiber removed
  • 2 large Easter egg radishes, ends trimmed and sliced into match sticks
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh chopped chives and dill
  • blue cheese crumbles to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and honey. Add in the snow peas and radish match sticks and toss to coat. Mix in chives and dill then plate. Add blue cheese crumbles to taste.

CSA Count: 4

Snow peas, Easter egg radishes, chives, dill

Fresh Pea Pesto Penne

A couple of weeks ago, we got our first batch of shell peas of the season from the CSA. I wanted to try something new with them, other than sautéing them, adding them to a stew, or making a spread. After seeing a post on fresh pea pesto on another food blog, I thought I’d try making a pasta sauce out of the peas too.

I dutifully started shelling peas, a task that I oddly enjoy but has become a game of sorts lately– how many pea pods can I get through before the baby needs a diaper change or needs to be nursed? In any case, there’s something oddly satisfying about splitting open that crispy, green shell, running your finger along the peas to release them from the pod, and hearing the plinks of each pea as it falls into the bowl. The one downside is seeing how much work you did for a relatively little yield. I took this picture to show how much I’d be tossing in the compost compared to how much I’d actually use for this dish. In this case, I think I shelled 1.5 lbs of peas to get about 1.5 cups of peas.

But the work is worth it. I took those peas and blanched them before adding them to a food processor with some toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon zest, fresh mint and dill and salt and pepper. I then took some of the water in which I cooked the pasta and streamed that in while processing until I had a smooth, pesto like puree. I added my pesto to the cooked linguine and mixed in some marscarpone cheese and a splash more of that pasta water. The noodles were soon covered in a slick, pastel green sauce. How did it taste? The sauce was sweet and creamy with an underlying grassy taste from the peas and fresh herbs, yet warmed through from the toasty, nutty taste of the walnuts. This was a fast, refreshing, and relatively healthy meal. The only heat generated was from water boiling on the stove, so definitely a dinner to keep in mind during high summer heat and peak shell pea season.

  • 12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1.5 lbs shell peas (or 1.5 cups fresh peas)
  • 2 medium cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons each fresh dill and mint, chopped
  • 6 oz marscarpone cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Bring a small pot of water to boil then add the peas. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until peas are bright green. Drain and submerge under cold water to stop cooking. Add the peas, toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon zest, mint and dill to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process while streaming in pasta cooking water until you have a smooth paste, about 1/3-1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pea pesto mix to the hot pasta along with the marscarpone cheese. Splash in more pasta water until you get a sauce consistency to your liking. Serve immediately.

Yields 4 servings.

CSA Count: 3

Shell peas, fresh garlic, dill

Garden Count: 1

Mint

Beef & Turnip Pasties

Having grown up an airline brat, I can tell people that I’ve been to places like Italy, Hong Kong, France, and England; however, most of these trips were made when I was a kid with a kid’s typical palate, and therefore, I’m sad to say, I wasn’t particularly culinarily adventurous. I remember being in Rome but whining unless I got a plain cheese pizza. I remember being in Hong Kong and demanding American fried chicken from KFC instead of Chinese food. (There’s a story for a blog post some day involving my grandmother’s kindly housekeeper, her attempt to placate a bitching 4-year-old by making fried chicken, and instead terrifying said 4-year-old by killing the chicken in front of her.)

One foreign food memory instantly came to mind when My Kitchen, My World announced that the July destination was Great Britain. I remember being in a cafeteria style restaurant with my parents when I was maybe 11 or so. Hungry, but finding most of the options non-appetizing, my mother tricked cajoled me into eating a rather tasty looking savory pie. A sucker for buttery crusts, all I saw was the flakey pie topping and failed to see the little sign labeling it as steak and kidney pie. It wasn’t until we sat down at the table and I had taken a few bites when I saw the word “kidney” on the receipt. I freaked out, asking my mother if there really was kidney in the pie. My mother shrugged and waved her hand dismissively, saying that it was just the name. Gullible, I finished off the pie, but when I found out weeks later that there really was kidney in steak and kidney pie, I felt ill and think that was the beginning of my adolescent maternal resentment.

Well there’s no kidney in this dish, but that food memory made me think of trying my hand at making a savory British pastry for my MKMW submission. With shell peas and more turnips from the CSA, I thought that adding ground beef to those ingredients would result in a great filling for Cornish pasties. Pasties are handheld pies, believed to have been made from leftovers in order to be a cheap and portable meal for miners. I adapted a fast puff pastry recipe from King Arthur Flour for the pasty crust, swapping some cream cheese in place of some of the butter to add a little more tang to the crust. I then started to brown ground beef, but I had to pass the reins of cooking the filling over to John so I could nurse the baby, shouting directions to him from the living room. John either follows direction well or did a bang up job of interpreting my directions which were to saute the vegetables in butter, add back in the cooked beef, season the beef with Worcester sauce and seasonings, then make a slightly thickened sauce with flour and chicken stock. I got to jump back in to finish off the filling with a touch of cream and some fresh dill before folding them up in circles of the pastry dough. You’ll notice in the final plating picture that these pasties weren’t picture perfect: in a rush to get these in the oven so we could hopefully eat before the baby started her nightly colic crying, I didn’t crimp these suckers. They still look and tasted pretty darn good though. Sound complicated? Well, to sound like a smug mother for a second, if I can make them while juggling caring for a newborn, then what’s your excuse? Give it a try: the slightly creamy filling tastes light from the sweet peas and grassy dill, counterbalancing that flaky, buttery pastry shell. I promise it’ll be worth the effort.

Note: This puff pastry recipe is even faster and easier when made in the food processor. Just pulse the butter and cream cheese in the dry ingredients until you have fine crumbs, then process the sour cream until you see large clumps of dough, kind of looking like spaetzle. Instead of pasties, you can make this filling and then make small turnovers, following the directions in the KAF recipe regarding cutting the dough into 16 squares and using 1 tablespoon of filling in each square.

  • 1 recipe of “Fast and Easy Puff Pastry” substituting 4 oz cream cheese for 4 oz of the butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 16 oz lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 small to medium Tokyo Cross turnips, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb shell peas (or 1/2 cup fresh peas)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Make the puff pastry according to recipe directions, but substitute 4 oz of cream cheese for 4 oz of butter. While dough chills, make the filling. Start by heating canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drain off fat then set cooked beef aside. Add butter to pan and melt over medium heat. When foam subsides, add the turnips, onion, and garlic and saute until onion and turnips soften, about 10-15 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook until bright green, another 4-5 minutes. Add back in the beef then mix in Worcester sauce. Sprinkle with flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of raw flour taste. Mix in the chicken stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes then stir in cream, looking for a light sauce consistency. Stir in dill and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you can, let the filling cool before filling pastry.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough to 16 inch by 16 inch square. Using a bowl as a stencil, cut circles, approximately 4 inches in diameter. Brush the edges of the circles with beaten egg then add approximately 1/4 cup of filling, just slightly off center, of each circle. Fold the edges of the dough together and crimp with a fork, then place on prepared baking sheet. Brush pasties with beaten egg and sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Yields 4-6 pasties.

CSA Count: 4

Shell peas, Tokyo Cross turnips, fresh garlic, dill

Oyster Mushrooms & Fresh Peas on Brioche Toasts

When the CSA rains down peas, the one pod that I actually look forward to are the shell peas. With a twisted kind of pleasure, I actually enjoy the labor of unzipping the fiber along the side of the pod, cracking open the shell and freeing the little green peas into a bowl. It’s a tactile and aural thing, I think. The pea pods feel nice and cool after sitting in the fridge and I love the sounds of the snapping of the pods and the soft little plinks that each pea makes as it hits the bowl. I know that fresh peas call for nothing else other than a quick blanching, a light toss in butter and some salt and pepper, but the problem is that the pods never seem to deliver enough peas for me to make a decent side dish out of them… until this year:

I wasn’t expecting a two cup yield of fresh peas as in year’s past, I’ve been lucky if I got even 1 cup which I had to bulk up with other ingredients, so I actually regretted for a fleeting moment that I had already made up my mind to puree these peas to spread on brioche toasts. Regretted it, until I remembered the delicious potential of my little plan… and how much trouble it took to get one of the components made.

The inspiration for these toasts came from browsing menus of some of Seattle’s best small plate restaurants while planning for a visit from a college roommate. One restaurant, Sitka & Spruce, had a sample menu that listed toasts with fresh peas, sorrel and morel mushrooms. Combined with having watched the boring episode of Top Chef with the irritating pea puree incident, I thought I’d try making what I thought these toasts could be like as a means of getting to try making my own pea puree. I also wanted to try making brioche, something that I’d heard was easier to do than it sounds, and is quite fun– another wonderful tactile experience when punching down the bubbly light dough. It’s not like I know what kind of bread Sitka & Spruce uses, but I wanted to use brioche, thinking that its buttery flavor and light but sturdy structure would pair perfectly with a buttery pea puree and crispy mushrooms.

Making the brioche dough was just as lovely as anticipated– I loved the way the dough felt alive (well, the yeast in it was) as I had to gently lift the dough and set it down to release the gas from the yeast fermentation. It was soft and lively, gently pillowy and squishy. The difficulty came with baking. My oven was on the fritz, in fact in its final death throes. I didn’t know it at the time, but the igniter was dying, since every now and then it was self-reviving. Of the three loaves that my recipe yielded, I ended up with one that failed to rise above 2 inches in height while baking, and another sad, sorry one that in a fit of stupidity, was attempted to be baked in a toaster oven, resulting in two strips of black burnt crust on top of an otherwise, perfectly risen, but pale loaf. Luckily, there was one loaf that came out beautifully– perfectly golden with an airy crumb and interior. After a day’s labor and fretting over these loaves, simple buttered peas be damned. Toasts had to be made since I had the bread for it.

Another reason to try making these toasts? The sorrel– we’ve got plenty of it. One of John’s more ingenious ideas has been to slowly transform the garden patches around our house into an entirely edible garden. We’ve got thyme slowly filling in and replacing grass in some patches. Under my kitchen window, some decorative bushes have been pulled out and replaced with rosemary, chervil, sage, and a bay plant. Out on our front lawn, is another herb patch and a fig tree. The move towards a culinary garden has meant experimenting with planting (and cooking) with a wider variety of herbs than we’ve ever had before. (And when not cooking with them, let me tell you that there have been some mighty fine martinis in this house lately using shiso leaves, savory, and yes– sorrel.)

The sorrel itself is lovely. It looks like large clover leaves and has a slightly sour flavor, like a mix of lemon juice but combined with a light mint taste and soft, woodsy undertones like you get with fresh thyme. It’s rather hardy, more like the texture of an arugula leaf, so I figured I could try slicing it into thin ribbons then adding it to my mushrooms as they cooked since it could likely stand up to being sautéed.

Here’s how everything came together: I lightly cooked the peas in a little bit of butter and some lemon zest until they just turned bright green. The peas then steeped in some heavy cream. When I drained the peas, I reserved the cream so I could be in control of how much liquid was added to the blender when pureeing the peas. I wanted a thicker puree so it could spread easily on the toasts yet still have bite, and was not disappointed by the lovely, bright meadow green of the puree with tiny little pieces of the peas so you could still tell what it was made from. I crisped up the mushrooms in a lightly oiled pan so that the edges were softly caramelized and crisp– kind of like little slices of bacon, actually and the sorrel ribbons wilted slightly. Finally, I buttered slices of my brioche bread and toasted them in the pan before spreading a bit of the puree on each toast then topped each with a little pile of the mushroom and sorrel mixture. These were so delicious– the bread was buttery yet light and matched perfectly with the creamy and lightly sweet peas. The sweetness was countered with the earthy crunch of the mushrooms, while the lemony flavor of the sorrel gave a nice touch of balancing acid. We ate these as a side dish to some salmon fillets, but I bet these would make a lovely passed hors d’oeuvre or plated first course for a late summer dinner party. It’d be sure to impress– lovely to look at and in taste.

Note: This recipe yields four toasts, but the pea puree alone could probably make at least 6-8 of them. If making for a larger crowd, I’d use a full 8 oz of oyster mushrooms and double the sorrel.

  • 2 cups fresh shell peas
  • unsalted butter
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 loaf of brioche bread– from which you’ve sliced 4 slices, 1 inch wide each
  • 4 oz oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sorrel, chiffonade

Melt a small pat of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the peas, lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt with a small pinch of black pepper. Saute until peas turn bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Add the heavy cream and gently simmer over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes. Place a colander over a 2 cup measuring cup and drain the peas, reserving the cream. Pour peas into blender with half a cup of reserved cream. Blend for about 10-15 seconds adding a touch more cream if you wish or if you need it to keep the blender blades going. You should have a puree that is the consistency of humus. Take a taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

While peas steep in cream, remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop the caps into 1 inch pieces. Add another small pat of butter to a small skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the mushroom pieces and do not disturb them, letting them cook until browned on one side, about 4-5 minutes. Flip over the mushroom pieces, letting them brown on the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Add the sorrel and cook until sorrel is slightly wilted, about 1-2 minutes more. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.

Brush both sides of each slice of brioche with butter then add to the pan in which you cooked the mushrooms. Turn the flame to medium low and lightly toast the brioche slices until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes per side. Cool slightly then spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the puree on each toast. Top with 3-4 mushroom pieces per toast and serve.

CSA Count: 1

Shell peas

Garden Count: 1

Sorrel

Grilled Turkey Cobb Salad

Lettuce, tons of lettuce this year. I think we’ve been averaging at least two heads of lettuce per CSA delivery this year. My crisper drawer overfloweth with leafy greens.

Who knew there was more to lettuce than just romaine or iceberg? The names are actually pretty cute, even if I still don’t necessarily know which one is which: French summer crisp, little gem, flashy butter gem, Sucrine romaine. And they’re rather pretty too– the little gem (I think) has scalloped edges and is a bright jade green, the flashy butter gem (I think) has purplish spots speckling a light green background. Eh– who am I kidding? It’s still lettuce, and its use is still limited to lettuce wrapped goodies or salads.

The challenge is to keep the salads interesting, and the trick to keeping salads interesting? Fat. No seriously– even if you think you’re a health conscious, light vinaigrette only, no cheese or bacon salad eater, well guess what? What makes your salad tasty to you is the fat in your vinaigrette. Our palates crave fat, for better or worse, and the cobb salad– with its piles of bacon bits, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, avocado chunks, and thickly layered with a creamy dressing– is perhaps the ultimate in dressing up lettuce with fatty goodness.

I decided to make a cobb salad but try to maximize the potential for good kinds of fat and variety of flavors in the salad. For the meat, I grilled lean turkey tenderloins, the grill imparting a slight smokey flavor which would mirror the bacon. The bacon is a lean, uncured bacon from a local butcher– a friend had given us a tip that the butcher near where John works sells the best bacon you’ll ever have. That doesn’t even begin to describe how good the bacon is. In any case, it yields little fat when you cook it up in the pan having little fat to begin with yet crisps up beautifully. Lastly, I played around with making my own dressing, blending together yogurt, cucumber, dill, and lemon juice so that the dressing was creamy yet cool and refreshing. As we sat down to eat this, John said that this was the quintessential big ass salad. True– this is a salad that I crave, and as we move into late summer heat, I’ll definitely make this again. Easing the burden on my crisper drawer is just an added benefit.

  • 16 oz turkey tenderloins
  • 1.5 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
  • canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 head flashy butter gem lettuce
  • 1 head little gem lettuce
  • 1/2 cup snow pea pods, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese
  • 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

Dressing

  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Season turkey tenderloins with steak seasoning. When your grill is hot, quickly wipe it down with a piece of paper towel that has been soaked in canola oil. Grill tenderloins for 6-8 minutes per side or until dark grill marks form and an instant read thermometer reads a temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove tenderloins to a plate and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing tenderloins on a bias, 1/4 inch thick.

While tenderloins cook, cook the bacon and hard boil the eggs. For perfectly hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a pot then fill with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so that it gently boils for five minutes before turning off the heat, covering the pot with a lid and letting eggs continue to cook through for another 12 minutes. Drain water, and run eggs under cold water until cool to touch. Peel eggs and chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Crumble bacon into 1/4 inch pieces as well.

To make the dressing, place cucumber in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until cucumber is finely chopped, about 5-6 1 second pulses. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, sugar and dill and process until dressing is runny, about 15-20 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and spin dry the torn lettuce with the chopped snow peas. Plate the lettuce and snow pea mix. If you want to be fancy, make rows on top of the salad, each row containing a single salad topping ingredient: tomato, avocado, hard boiled egg, blue cheese crumbles, and turkey. Make sure there are two rows of bacon turkey since it’s the star of the show. Drizzle dressing on top and serve remaining dressing at the table in case you wish to add more. This yields 2 very large entrée salads, but can be divided to make 4 smaller side salads.

CSA Count: 5

Flashy gem lettuce, little gem lettuce, snow pea pods, chives, dill

Grilled Bok Choy & Glazed Snow Peas

As previously complained before, my one problem with getting baby bok choy and snow peas in bulk from the CSA is that I can’t really think of what to do with them other than put them in a stir fry. As delicious as stir fry may be, it can be tiring if you end up eating it 3 or 4 times a week trying to use up all those bok choy and pea pods. And so therein lies the challenge: find new ways to use up these vegetables to keep things interesting.

This would be one of those efforts. I looked at these vegetables and the bundle of basil we received in the CSA share box and some beef that I bought on sale and thought… well, stir fry. But then I looked at our grill which seemed kind of lonely and suddenly, the beef no longer wanted to be cooked in a skillet but skewered and grilled (recipe for that to come later this week.) Since the beef was going on the grill, why not try cooking the bok choy with it? After all, I’d seen recipes for splitting heads of Romaine lettuce in half and lightly charring them for salads, heck, even tried it myself with more or less good results with a head of radicchio. So I split each baby bok choy in half, lightly painted them with a mix of sesame and canola oils and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then handed the plateful of them over to John to set on the grill.

Don’t they look pretty? All bright green with light caramelization and crispy edged leaves? These would have been delicious on their own as a simple side, but there were those snow peas… those damn snow peas. I quickly sautéed those suckers with a little bit of garlic and a glaze of honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil until the snow peas were bright green and still crisp. I then combined them with the grilled bok choy which bulked them up into a more substantial side dish. All together, the vegetables were crunchy with subtle flavors of smoke from the grill, sweetness from the honey, and nuttiness from the sesame oil. A light but hearty side dish, perfect for a summer meal courtesy of the grill.

  • 3 baby bok choy, split in half lengthwise
  • canola oil
  • toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 large clove green garlic, chopped (yields about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Tamari soy sauce

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Brush all sides of bok choy halves with oil mixture then sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Grill over direct heat for 4-5 minutes per side or until vegetables are bright green with light brown grill marks and slightly charred, crisped edges of the leaves.

While bok choy is on the grill, heat about 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the snow peas and garlic then saute until pea pods are bright green, about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle with honey, soy sauce and about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix in the grilled bok choy then season with salt and pepper to taste.

CSA Count: 3

Baby bok choy, snow pea pods, green garlic