You know what I get sick of hearing? How leafy greens are so good for you. (Before you start, yeah, I know they are. I like them even.) Whenever someone starts in on the benefits of leafy greens, my eyes kind of glaze over. Because even as a person who kind of loves them, after a while, they all seem to start to meld together. And kindly people who try to give you new ways to use said greens, really aren’t super helpful. (Stir fry! Put it in soups! Pesto!) I’m ready for something new.
Folks, this is that something new. First off, can you even eat raw bok choy!? You can! And you should! It’s delicious and a lot lighter than you’d expect, and the white part kind of tastes like a more tender, subtler celery. And the greens aren’t quite as intense as, say, kale might be. Sturdy enough to hold up to a zesty dressing, but not so tough that you’ll still be digesting it next Tuesday. Speaking of dressing, the one on this salad is on point. The perfect blend of tartness and umami, it makes for one of those crazy addictive salads that you just can’t stop eating. Or is that the sesame-almond crunch? Oh yeah, maybe it’s the sesame-almond crunch. Basically what that is, is… well, it’s basically putting candy on your salad in a socially acceptable way, ok? Crunchy, toasty bits of almond and sesame seeds coated in a deep caramel coating, sprinkled throughout your salad.
In the end, this salad was so good that I found myself guiltily plucking forkfuls from the leftover container in the fridge after I put the kids to bed, until I realized that I was, in fact, feeling guilty about shoveling heaping bites of LEAFY GREENS into my mouth. That’s craziness, right there. So I continued my after-hours binge feeling pretty darn good about myself. Needless to say, I’m kind of obsessed with this salad, and I can see it being my new go-to when someone asks me to bring a salad for dinner or a BBQ side. And not to brag or anything, but my 3-year-old ate it. We may or may not have told him that there were bits of candy in it (there are!). But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to get in those leafy greens!
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1½ pounds bok choy
Preheat oven to 350°F. (This is the perfect time to use a toaster oven! You have one, right? Right?!)
Spread slivered almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a saucepan set over medium heat. The moment the sugar is completely liquefied, take off the heat, add almonds, stirring quickly to coat, then sesame seeds, stirring until evenly distributed. Do this quickly, so that the mixture does not burn. Immediately transfer nut mixture to a plate or a sheet of foil and let cool.
In the same saucepan, bring the sugar, oil, vinegar, and soy sauce to a boil and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced green onions and remove from heat. Let cool.
Meanwhile, slice the bok choy crosswise into 1/4" pieces. Place bok choy in a large bowl, and toss with dressing. Just before serving, add the nut mixture and toss well.