French Fridays with Dorie: Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snaps, and Garlic En Papillote

 

the vegetables ready to wrap in foil for steaming in the oven

the vegetables ready to wrap in foil for steaming in the oven

This week’s French Friday recipe is a simple steamed vegetable combination of bok choy, snap peas, and spring onions that Dorie describes as having a “Europe-in-the-spring accent” rather than the oft used Asian flavors of soy and ginger. It’s not surprising to me to see bok choy in a French inspired dish or to hear Dorie sees them in the markets, given the French colonization of Southeast Asia. You see many French influences in cooking there and it seems natural to see that the influence would follow back to France and the rest of Europe.

wrapped packets going into the oven

wrapped packets going into the oven

Dorie wonders in the introduction to the recipe why she sees the vegetable in every French market, but rarely at a dinner party. I can say that as much as we love baby bok choy (in our house often served with a splash of tamari, garlic and oyster sauce) it’s the hardest vegetable to clean. The stalks look deceptively loose, and easy to rinse out, but inevitably hold tiny bits of grit that won’t dissolve even soaked in water. D and I are willing to put up with a bit of sand or dirt because we love the slightly sweet, slightly bitter, deep green flavor contrasted with the crisp watery stalks but the thought of serving it to guests who would question my cooking/cleaning skills after a tiny crunch…well, no.

steam rising off the cooked vegetables

steam rising off the cooked vegetables

So I encourage you all to make this at home, and when you find super clean baby bok choy, to rinse it well and take a chance on making these lovely packets for your guests as Dorie suggests as either a starter or a side with some fish.  The garlic slices go well with the peas and greens. The orange and mint flavors, along with onions, do evoke spring. We made the whole batch for 4 even though it meant there were two leftover portions: peas look green-grey left overnight, but the flavor of the mint dispersed and the orange sunk into the vegetables and honestly the flavor was much better on day two, even if the look of it was not.

dinner is served

dinner is served

Notes on the recipe:

  • We are still mainly eating organic vegetables and it was tough to find small baby bok choy, mine were more like tween choy so I cut them into quarters instead of halves.
  • Early tiny spring onions are in the farmers market here, but not the grocer. I used large green onions and so as not to waste any only bought 6 and added in some of the green parts.
  • The orange zest is from a leftover blood orange from my fridge, so the color might look a bit different.
  • I used some chocolate mint from my garden – it has a strong almost peppermint mint flavor so if you are not a mint fan, a milder spearmint, or a smaller amount would do well here.
  • You can see some pre-made meatballs on the plate that I served for dinner. We are eating our way through leftovers from the freezer as part of my spring cleaning. More freezer cleaning recipes are likely to follow on the blog. 🙂

Since 2011, a group of cooks and bloggers have been making their way though all the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table.” We don’t publish the recipes, but you can pick up your own copy of the book and cook along, or just enjoy all the great food to be found in its pages. 

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About Tasty Mayhem

Love to eat, cook, write. Try to think of witty things to say about the world but my thoughts are consumed by food. Mostly.
This entry was posted in French Fridays with Dorie, Low/er Carb, Side Dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snaps, and Garlic En Papillote

  1. trevorsisboom says:

    lol @ “tween choy” . How funny. I used green onions and really thought they were fine. So hard to find spring onions around here for some reason. We really liked this. I think I’ll make up soy and ginger tonight though with the other baby choys I have from our TJ box.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you’re back with us again! Your veggie look wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily says:

    Loads of ways to dress up baby bok choy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Diane Zwang says:

    I served teriyaki meatballs with my bok choy the second time around. It was good together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great job. This was a delicious veggie side. Have a great week end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tasty Mayhem says:

    Now with edits! Goddess save me from late night blogging. I need an editor.

    Like

  7. Cher says:

    There were no baby choy to be found around here either – no “tweenies” either 🙂
    Sigh – it is time to do some freezer cleaning here too. Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

  8. dulceshome says:

    Happy that you enjoyed this so much. I thought they were good too!

    Like

  9. I love how bright green your peas got!

    Like

  10. I never thought about the Southeast colonial connection…interesting to really look at say Vietamese food and see how the French influence it. We didn’t have leftovers but great to know that it tastes better the next day.

    Like

  11. betsy says:

    Glad to have you back on the team. The leftovers weren’t such a great color, but still did taste good.

    Like

  12. Mary Hirsch says:

    Thanks for the info on bok choy. I couldn’t find it in the California farmers markets nor my little Cambria grocery store so I went with broccoli rabe. But, I’m back in Colorado and saw it today at Whole Foods. Since I didn’t realize the extra cleaning necessary I appreciate the heads up. Sorta like leeks. I clean my leeks very, very carefully. Yep, the next day’s look isn’t so great but I used my leftover packet in a frittata. Worked great.

    Like

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