Have you ever tried roasting bok choy in the oven? I think it will completely change the way you feel about this veggie. Bok Choy has always been somewhat bland to me- too watery- lacks flavor- and just kind of meh. I never know the "right" seasonings to use and always default to my usual picks of salt and pepper. Secondly, I have a hard time pairing this vegetable to make a meal feel complete. I like it with eggs or in a soup but always feel that it does nothing to enhance or tie a meal together. However, roasting in the oven, takes it to another level. It changes not only the texture (versus cooking it in olive oil on the stove top or steaming) but the flavor as well. The recipe is very simple and 100% fool-proof. The prep work is very easy and only takes about 20 minutes to roast in the oven. Easy and simple is good, but most importantly it does not lack in flavor.
I have to admit, bok choy is my new favorite vegetable.
Why roast? Roasting bok choy gives it a sweeter taste. For starters, it is less watery and it reminds me of roasted brussels sprouts. The best part? The leaves become crispy- really crispy- almost burnt- but in a good way- think kale chips. In my opinion, that is a win because crispy + salty veggies, or anything for that matter, are easily addictive and hard to pass on.
The recipe for this bok choy only calls for seasoning that you most likely already have on hand: olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes. I've also added a few optional seasonings that I have found work great with roasted bok choy- whether you are in the mood for asian, something sweet, or savory- I've got you covered!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
6 large bok choy leaves, washed & destemmed
1 whole head of garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
2-3 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Optional seasonings to pair:
soy sauce + sesame seeds
ginger + shaved or roasted fennel
shallots + mustard + maple syrup
Position 1 rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Slice the bottom part of the bok choy off. Wash and dry completely.
Lay the bok choy leaves evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetable. Add sea salt and ground black pepper. I like to use a good amount because I tend to like things on the saltier side, but adjust to your taste.
Mince the garlic and add it to the baking sheet. Disperse the garlic around the bok choy. Add roughly 1-2 tsp. of olive oil to the garlic. (enough to coat)
Place the sheet in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip the bok choy to the other side. Roast for another 10 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. The leaves of the vegetable will become crispy and start to brown (see picture above).
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and more sea salt if desired. Serve immediately.