Bamboo Rice, Bok Choy and Scottish Salmon

I love sunny Saturdays in spring. The garden is bursting with apple blossoms and cornflowers and tulips and roses {yes, already!} and mustard greens and the fig tree is just giving birth to tiny, green figlets.

It is one of my favorite times of the year. The neighborhood is bustling and Piedmont Park is packed with throngs of people gathering on blankets to soak up the weekend sun.

Today is the perfect day for lunch in the garden. I head to the farmer' s market for provisions, but alas, my procrastination is too late and the last of the farmer's is putting away her goods. It's off to the local farmstand, then. A co-op where a few farmer's bring their produce for those of us who haven't planned well enough in advance. Even there, the selection is on near empty. I manage a bunch of baby turnips from Crystal Organic Farms and a handful of still earth-clod golden beets from Love is Love farm {who could resist a name like that?!}.

Next door, Star Provisions will surely inspire a menu for lunch. And indeed, it never lets me down.
Two fillets of scottish salmon. A few thin slices of serrano ham {maybe not on today's menu, but always good to have in the pantry}. A bottle of pinot grigio.

Back home, I find a bag of beautiful baby bok choy that needs to be cooked. And Organic Jade Pearl Rice, a bamboo rice, one of the many varieties stocked in the pantry thanks to our friends Caryl and Ken of Lotus Foods. Bamboo is infused into sushi style rice from China. When it cooks, it keeps a beautiful green hue- it will be a perfect color compliment to the salmon .

When a day like this is on the menu, how can life be anything but good?


To make the rice, follow directions on the package {Lotus Foods recommend 1 part rice to1.5 parts water}. Add a dash of olive oil or pat of butter just before covering to cook.

To make the bok choy, Cut two bunches in half lengthwise.
Heat 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium saute pan. Over medium heat, warm the oil. Add two cloves of crushed garlic. When the oil starts simmering around the garlic cloves, add the the bok choy face down. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, just until you see some caramelization on the greens, but they are not yet browned. Turn them over in the pan. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan. Simmer, covered, until tender. About 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat when done and keep covered until ready to serve.

To cook the salmon, heat a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add a Tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle about a tsp. of Citrus Fennel Salt on each fillet. Saute the salmon skin side down until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Turn the salmon over {if the skin sticks, simply cook it separately} and cook salmon on the other side just until browned, about 1-2 minutes. The salmon may still be bright pink in the center, but it will continue to cook.

Remove the salmon from the pan.
Spoon the rice onto the plate. Gently place the bok choy on the plate. Place the salmon and salmon skin {if seperate}, on the plate. Spoon the liquid from the bok choy around the plate. Pour you and your guest a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.
Enjoy the day!

Buon appetito!
copyright 2009 Alisa Barry

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