With picnics and barbecues making their way onto our calendars, this is a good time for all of us to put a little thought into our side dish recipe arsenal. Sure, you could buy store-bought pasta salad, but who really hates their friends that much?
If we could take our vegetables on a walk through Sephora, they would come out looking fun, fresh, and ready for any occasion, which is exactly what we have here, except we are talking about basil and sesame seeds instead of cosmetics with shockingly risqué titles.
Does anyone say risqué anymore? My mom definitely does.
Bok choy is my newest vegetable obsession. I am on a one-woman mission to make bok choy the new cauliflower. Join me?
Here’s what we are going to do.
While everyone else is throwing their hot dogs and kabobs onto the grill, you are going to steal a bit of that flaming hot real estate and toss on some baby bok choy. I prepare it super simply, just slice each bulb (is it a bulb??) lengthwise and coat with a layer of extra virgin olive oil.
The olive oil is super important if you want the bok choy to cook rather than turn into crispy ash. So…don’t skip this step.
Once you have achieved partial doneness - we are going for some residual crunch - you can whip up a super simple vinaigrette.
Lime, basil, and sesame oil all make appearances in this tangy vinaigrette.
Just before serving, sprinkle a few sesame seeds for both crunch and garnish.
Now aren’t you glad you gave that lackluster pasta salad the cold shoulder? Me too.
GRILLED BOK CHOY WITH BASIL-LIME VINAIGRETTE
6 ounces baby bok choy
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted*
sesame seeds, for topping
*Cook’s Note: The coconut oil will form a much smoother vinaigrette if it has been melted. Just place your coconut oil into a small bowl or jar and microwave for 15-30 seconds, until it is in a liquid form.
Light your grill and set to medium heat.
Slice bok choy lengthwise and brush both sides with an even layer of extra virgin olive oil. Grill the bok choy, cut-side down for 3-5 minutes; until the leaves are slightly wilted and the edges charred.
While the bok choy cools, prepare the vinaigrette.
In the work bowl of your food processor combine basil, garlic, salt, and sugar. Pulse several times, until the mixture is finely chopped.
Pour in lime juice, sesame oil, and coconut oil and pulse until smooth.
Drizzle the dressing over warm bok choy and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.