Lets see, since the last time I posted a recipe a lot has happened in my life. For instance, I got married…. Yup, and I love it! I always dreamed about being able to set up house, and have my own kitchen. Cooking for two is so much fun. I feel like there is an infinite amount of things I could do with the time it takes to prepare just two plates. My husband is a really good cook. He managed to make breakfast on the grill the other morning. It was so yummy! (Yes, I know, he was a good catch.) What I value even more, is that my husband is a really good eater! I know, that sounds weird. But seriously, he is hardly picky. He will try just about anything. And he sees food as a delicious adventure! He is always encouraging me in my cooking experiments, and telling me how tasty they are. I feel like the luckiest cook in the world!
One of my most recent experiments turned out super yummy! We are getting half of a CSA share this summer from a local farm. I’m so excited about it, I can’t even tell you! Last week we got an abundance of greens, and we have been wolfing down salad this past week. We also received lots of bok choy. I love the stuff, especially sautéed in a little olive oil with some garlic, lemon juice, and pepper. Mmm..mm..good! However I really wanted to try something new with it. It was too sweltering for soup. Suddenly I had the idea - risotto! Something I’ve never made before. (So I’m not sure if I can even slap the label “risotto” on this….) Anyway, that thought turned into this recipe – my new favorite way to eat bok choy!
Red Pepper and Bok Choy Risotto
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to make it vegetarian)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 head bok choy
- 1/4 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 3 T. lemon juice
- 1 cup canned or precooked chickpeas
- 1/4 red bell pepper, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 T. butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium to low heat.
- With bok choy bundled together, cut the stalks into 1/4 inch slices. Add the cut up stalks, onion, and garlic to the olive oil, and sauté, stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, cut the remaining leafy part of the bok choy crosswise at intervals of about 1/4 inch and set aside.
- To the bok choy and onions in the pan, add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and simmer, stirring, until liquid is absorbed; then ladle in about 1 cup of the simmering stock. Continue to sauté/simmer until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.
- Stir frequently and add more stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, each time the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid and is threatening to stick. Rice should absorb 4 cups of liquid and be “al dente” (around 35 minutes).
- When rice is al dente, add chickpeas and cook for a couple minutes.
- Add the leafy bok choy and cook until wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the thyme, red bell pepper slices, parmesan cheese, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.