June 24, 2014

Risotto with Bok Choy

Risotto with Bok Choy

Joining a CSA is akin to a marriage. Inherent between the farmer and members of Community Supported Agriculture is the agreement–for richer, for poorer, for better or worse. Members pay for their “shares” up front, long before seed planting, and then share risk with the farmer. Risk of hail, insects, drought, or something that goes wrong on the farm, it’s all part of the deal. It’s this partnered risk that inspires today’s risotto with bok choy.

Risotto with Bok Choy

For better, our bok choy tasted like the delicate cabbage it is, with crunchy white stalks and tender green leaves. For worse, the greens were riddled with pinholes from a beetle’s feast before the pick. Our Ranui Gardens CSA farmer and crew do their best to mitigate bugs naturally but sometimes they arrive uninvited. The organic bok choy was perfectly delectable.

Bok choy risotto is an enjoyable fusion of mild yet distinctive bok choy flavor and soft, chewy creamy rice. Stir chopped bok choy into the pot at the last minute–the leaves wilt and the stalks keep their pleasing crunch. It’s a perfect way to highlight bok choy’s sweet assets and disguise any disaster. No one would ever know about (what?) holes.

Risotto with Bok Choy

Is it bok choy or pac choi, this Asian leafy green? Google search tells us pac choi and bok choy and pak choi are different spellings of the same leafy green cabbage cousin. John spells it pac choi. Is that what it’s called in the seed catalog?

Risotto with Bok Choy

This recipe is easy and quick when you use a pressure cooker. The risotto is done in 5 minutes, compared to the 30+ minutes it takes to stir traditionally cooked risotto. While the pressure cooker is doing its job, you can be chopping the bok choy and setting the table. I include directions for both cooking methods in the recipe instructions.

Risotto with Bok Choy

Risotto’s trademark creaminess comes from starchy rice, like Arborio. Many risottos are finished with cheese and butter, making them richer and even creamier, but because bok choy flavor is so delicate, I didn’t add cheese. Stir a dollop of goat cheese in with the bok choy if you want, as in this risotto with kale, but shy away from aged cheeses, like Parmesan. Last night we topped our bok choy risotto with poached eggs–excellent!

If you don’t own a pressure cooker yet–put one on your wish list. My Kuhn-Rikon 8-quart pressure cooker is a kitchen workhorse and will last me the rest of my life. There are less expensive models out there too.  (Both Amazon pressure cooker links are affiliates.)

Which kitchen tool is your favorite, the one you consider essential? Let’s start a conversation in the comment section below the recipe.

More bok choy recipes:

Bok Choy and Carrot Stir-Fry with Toasted Cashews on Letty’s Kitchen

Cold Noodle and Bok Choy Salad on She Knows Food and Recipes

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Hoisin Sauce on Kalyn’s Kitchem

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a product via my link, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting me.

Risotto with Bok Choy

Yield: Makes about 6 generous servings.

Risotto with Bok Choy

Bok choy risotto is an tasty combo of mild yet distinctive bok choy flavor and soft, chewy creamy rice. Serve as a side dish. For a simple supper, add cashews, goat cheese or eggs. Leftover risotto makes a great addition to brothy soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped garlic scapes or diced onion (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice (see note)
  • ½ cup white wine or beer (see note)
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock (see note)
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch pieces) chopped bok choy, both leaves and trimmed stems
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Real Salt, as needed

Instructions

  1. With a pressure cooker:
  2. Over medium flame, heat the oil in the pot. Stir in the garlic scapes and minced garlic. Cook and stir about a minute.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains with oil. Pour in the wine and cook until the wine has been absorbed.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, all of it.
  5. Close the lid and, over high heat, bring the cooker to high pressure.
  6. Lower the heat, making sure to maintain the pressure, and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the pressure immediately by the carrying the cooker to the sink and running cold water over the lid. Avoid running water over the top valve mechanism.
  7. Risotto traditional method:
  8. Have 5 to 6 cups of vegetable stock ready, simmering in a saucepan.
  9. Follow directions for pressure cooker risotto up until adding the stock.
  10. Over medium high heat, add the vegetable stock ½ cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the stock has been absorbed, ladle in another ½ cup of stock. Continue in this fashion, adding and stirring, rice absorbing the liquid, until the rice is done.
  11. For both pressure cooker and traditional risotto methods:
  12. When the rice is done, some liquid should remain in the pan unabsorbed. The risotto should be runny but not thin, with soft chewy texture.
  13. On low flame, stir in the bok choy and red pepper flakes. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  14. Ladle into warm bowls and serve immediately.

Notes

  • I used scapes because they are in our CSA box. Diced onion is the fine.
  • Arborio is short grain rice which, when cooked, produces risotto’s creamy texture. Don’t use a substitute. I found Arborio rice in the bulk bins at our natural food market.
  • You don’t have open a bottle of wine when all you need is a ½ cup—use beer instead. It’s easier to drink the rest of a beer.
  • If you want to omit the wine/beer, add a tablespoon of lemon juice at the end.
  • Without a pressure cooker you need 1 to 2 more cups of vegetable stock.

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5 comments

  • Don jones

    My large cutting board and Shun Knives are my staple. Reply · 4 weeks ago

    • Letty

      Thanks Don! Reply · 4 weeks ago

  • Don jones

    Your welcome. After speaking to Robbie I am so excited to follow your blog and make some of these wonderful dishes. My best to everyone from the old days at Steins and Deer Valley. Reply · 4 weeks ago

  • Oh, how creative to use bok choy in a dish that normally doesn’t have it. Love your suggestion for leftovers…into a soup!

    Wonderful, Letty!

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Jade Asian Greens Reply · 4 weeks ago

    • Letty

      Love all greens!!! Thanks for commenting! Reply · 3 weeks ago

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