Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Decadent Veggies!

"Decadent" is normally an adjective associated with chocolate, cheese, tiramisu and the like. You may wonder why I've chosen it to describe this flavor combination. Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think.

Baby bok choy is one of my favorite veggies. I find the baby variety to be a more pleasing white-to-green ratio than the full-grown kind. The mature heads are heavier on the white. I've really enjoyed Alicia Silverstone's simple preparation of baby bok choy with the ume vinaigrette and sesame seeds and have made it that way several times. In my 18 months being vegan, I've now finally run out of my ume vinegar, so it was time for me to come up with another way to honor simply steamed heads of baby bok choy. Perusing my condiment shelf, I noticed something quite decadent, indeed:  Black Truffle Oil.

At that point,  a wonderful idea popped into my head -- truffles are in the mushroom family. I resolved to create a buttery mushroom melange with truffle oil with which to top the lightly steamed bok choy.

A large handfull of button mushrooms were sauteed in about a tablespoon of earth balance butter, then taken off the heat and topped with a scant teaspoonful of truffle oil. The truffle oil is very flavorful, so I knew I wouldn't need much, and I was unfamiliar with the results that high heat would impart, so I just allowed the oil to warm in the already warm mushrooms.

While I was preparing the mushroom melange, I arranged the bok choy in the steamer pan of a double boiler. Once the water was rapidly boiling, I steamed the veggies for only three minutes, and finally arranged the bok choy cut side up so that the heads could catch all the mushroom/truffle goodness. The still-crisp, fresh greens were a foil to the over-the-top earthy, fatty melange, and together the ingredients were elegant, and, yes, decadent.

After dinner, as I was cleaning up, I had to smile as I found myself pouring the bok choy steaming liquid into a mug to drink as a tea the way my Mom used to do with water that had steamed the vegetables she served our family. It's true -- we really do turn into our moms as we get older! In my case, I don't mind -- my Mom's amazing!

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