There are very few things more delicious to me than perfectly roasted vegetables. Roasting brings out so much flavor, and the texture is unparalleled, from the crispy, caramelized outer layer, to the warm, soft section underneath. So when I saw these little heads of pak choi at the farmer’s market last week, I knew immediately what I was going to do with them.
Pak choi is a close relative of bok choi, which I have very fond memories of. When I was in China this summer, most of the restaurants had English menus, but the English on the menus varied in quality. Sometimes the dish was called “seasoned vegetable,” without specifying which seasoning, or which vegetable, was involved. Other times, there was a header for “Vegetables” in English, followed by several options for vegetable dishes… in Chinese. I don’t read or speak Chinese, so my usual strategy was to pick an option randomly, and just hope for the best. I ended up with a lot of bok choi.
But that was ok with me. Bok choi is healthy, versatile, and an excellent base to for delicious sauces (and mystery seasonings). These were fantastic roasted, but I easily could have sauteed them, or even sliced them raw into a salad. I hope I find these at the farmer’s market again, because they were absolutely wonderful.
6 heads pak choi (can substitute 3 heads baby bok choi, halved)
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash pak choi. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
3. Roast pak choi for 7-8 minutes, or until leaves are wilted and caramelized and the bulbs are cooked, but still have some crunch (mine were perfectly done at 8 minutes, but my oven may not have been fully preheated when I put them in).
Serves 2-3 as a side dish.