Bok Choy Shiitake Mushroom Gratin

Recipe and photo by Valentina Kenney Wein, Cooking on the Weekends

Cooked among deliciously caramelized onions, garlic and shiitake mushrooms, fresh baby bok choy maintains its crunchy stems while the beautiful, dark green leaves are wilted to perfection. This dish is rich, hearty and packed with flavor. While it is lovely for any occasion, it would be perfect for your vegan, dairy-free and/or gluten-free guests for a special-event meal or holiday feast, like Easter, Thanksgiving or any of the December holidays.
Serves: 6 as an entrée and 9 as a side

Prep Time

1-2 hrs

Ingredients

Grapeseed oil for the pan
1¼ cups thinly sliced yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup almond meal
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, washed, dried and thinly sliced
¼ cup cream sherry
3 (5-count) packages Jade Asian Greens Baby Bok Choy, roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons Asian chili paste (such as Sambal Oelek or something similar)
2 tablespoons potato starch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust a rack to the center.

Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with grapeseed oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions are caramelized, about 8 minutes. Remove about ¾ of the onion-garlic mixture, add it to a bowl and set it aside. 

Add the roughly chopped almonds and the almond meal to the pan with the remaining one-quarter of the onion mixture. Keeping the heat at medium and stirring periodically, sauté until the almonds are very aromatic and golden, about 5 minutes. Spoon this into a separate bowl and set it aside to be used later.

Return the onion mixture that was removed, back into the pan and add a bit more grapeseed oil. Turn the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Stirring often, cook until they're nicely browned, about 10 minutes. It's OK if they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the sherry. To do this, keep the heat high and use a flat-edged spatula (preferably wooden) to scrape the bottom of the pan clean, scraping up the brown bits. Once all but about a tablespoon of the sherry has cooked off, add the baby bok choy. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook just long enough to wilt the greens.

Pour the vegetable broth into a small mixing bowl. Add the chili paste and potato starch, and whisk until it’s smooth. Then pour this over the mushroom-bok choy mixture in the pan. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce it to low. Let it gently simmer for about 7 minutes, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour everything from the pan into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the entire surface with the reserved almond mixture and then place it in the preheated 350-degree F oven, and bake until it's sizzling along the edges, 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

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