For Audrey at Pickpocket Farm, who probably thought I was crazy for ordering 10 not-so-small heads of bok choy, and let me have them anyway. And for those CSA members who might have bok choy piling up in their fridge—you know who you are—here’s what I did with them:
Heads 3–4: Dehydrated, one head cut up, the other left whole leaf. A way of preserving for wintery soups. See photos above, with notes following.
Heads 5–6: Cut up, blanched and frozen. Also soups or stews, goes well with chicken and rice added to the pot.
Head 7: Shredded and made into bok choy and radish cole slaw.
Head 8: Split, brushed with oil and grilled.
Heads 9–10: Preserved as spicy bok choy kimchee.
Which leaves plenty of bok choy bottoms leftover to do this with.
There, that wasn’t so hard now was it?
Notes on dehydrating: Steam blanching (1 to 2 minutes) worked well for a head of whole leaves but the cut-up ones blanched unevenly. Alternatively, blanch in boiling water. Chill the blanched leaves in cold water to stop cooking and set color. Drain and pat dry. Spread leaves out on drying racks or pan. I used an electric dehydrator set at 120° to 125°F for 10 to 14 hours, until the stalks were brittle. Be forewarned and use the dehydrator in a well-ventilated area, the bok choy may be pungent in a spinachy cabbagey sort of way while drying. Surprisingly, the leaves remained green when completely dried (see photo bottom right).