I must admit that I was a little frustrated over the holidays. I had psychologically prepared myself for abundant meals, lots of sweet treats, dried fruit, and nuts. I saw none of that. I was so crestfallen that we didn’t receive a single panettone or pandoro that I made Tara O’Brady’s cake! For those of you who were lucky enough to overindulge, however, I have chosen food maven Nicole Taylor’s Apple and Bok Choy Salad for this week’s recipe — to ease you back into lighter eating. This recipe is from Nicole’s debut solo cookbook, The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen, which published last fall. Nicole, a Georgia native, is great at marrying Southern ingredients with those she finds in New York markets. This salad is a testament to that. To try more of Nicole’s food which we’ve featured on this column, see her Cherokee Rose Pound Cake, and her Rice and Harissa Chickpeas. —Kristina
What Nicole loves about this salad: Most times, I grill or steam this Asian vegetable, but raw is my new go-to method because I love a sturdy salad with nuts and crunch, and this is probably one of my favorite recipes in UpSouth. Feel free to switch out the nuts with almonds or your nut of choice (a friend uses pine nuts). I could have used kale here, but why not bok choy?
Apple and Bok Choy Salad
Deciding to veer from my standard grilled bok choy recipe was difficult. In New York City, bok choy and apples hang out at the farmers’ market around the same time. This simple salad takes minutes to make. I’m always trying to find a way to sneak Southern nuts into meals.
– 2 1/2 cups bok choy leaves
– 1 cup cubed apples (about 2 small apples)
– 2 teaspoons lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
– 1 teaspoon pecan oil or other oil
– 2 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts or other nut
– 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
– Large pinch ground black pepper
– 2 tablespoons blue cheese (about 1/2 ounce)
Place bok choy leaves and apples in a large bowl or serving platter.
Drizzle lime juice and oil on top and toss together. Sprinkle in peanuts, salt, and pepper. Toss again.
Crumble the blue cheese over the salad.
About Nicole: Nicole A. Taylor currently hosts Hot Grease, a food culture podcast, and is the principal of NAT Media. She has contributed to First We Feast, Cherry Bombe, Amtrak, Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy, and Travel Noire. Her recipes are featured on Colorlines, the America I Am: Pass it Down Cookbook, and The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table Cookbook. She lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. You can find Nicole on Twitter and Instagram.