Baby Bok Choy & Avocado Salad w/ Sweet Soy Vinaigrette and Butter Roasted Sesame Cashews

I bought a big carton of beautiful bok choy at Costco a few days ago – if you shop at any of the big box grocers, you’ll understand it was truly large, as nothing comes in small quantities at these stores. Even though there’s just two of us at home right now, these bok choy were so fresh, green and crisp that I just couldn’t resist throwing them in the cart. We were driving home when my husband shared with me that he really wasn’t very fond of bok choy …………..
…………… that’s not good……….. not when I just purchased a mammoth size carton!

Well, that became my challenge. I decided right then and there that he really was quite fond of bok choy, he just didn’t know it yet ……………… and I was going to prove it to him!

I was browsing online for a wonderful recipe to wow my dear husband with, perhaps a stir fry or even some fun roasting technique, when I came across this recipe. The picture didn’t look all that interesting, but I was very intrigued with the idea of using bok choy as the star in a salad, with no cooking involved at all.

And then imagination started rolling! I kept the beautiful lines of the bok choy by simply slicing them in half lengthwise instead of chopping them up. I scattered the salad with diced avocado and finely chopped red onion. Finally, I exchanged the almonds in the original recipe for a combination of cashews and sesame seeds which I roasted in a tiny bit of butter.


The final result is fun, fresh, unique and as my husband said, after taking the first bite “quite delicious”. YEAH!  Mission accomplished! This has become our new favorite salad  – in fact, we enjoyed it so much, I think I’ll pick up another BIG carton next time I’m at Costco!

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you about the amazing dressing in this salad….. sweet, salty, slightly spicy – YUM! You’ll be wanting to use this one on all kinds of salads!
Oh, and we tried this with big chinks of shredded chicken breast for dinner – fabulous!

Baby Bok Choy and Avocado Salad w/ Sweet/Spicy Vinagrette and Butter Roasted Sesame Cashews

Ingredients for the dressing:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
⅓ cup white sugar- (If you’re watching your carbs/sugar intake, just substitute Splenda for some of the sugar – you’ll never know the difference!)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon Sriracha
6-8 baby bok choy bunches, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise (make sure you get the baby bok choy as the bigger stuff is much tougher)
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, peeled and cored then sliced and diced into ½ inch pieces
Ingredients for the cashews:
½ cup cashews
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white or black – (I used a combination – you can find black sesame seeds at any Asian grocer. I also purchase them at Whole Foods in the bulk section.)
1 scant teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine the cashews and almonds in a small baking pan. Add butter and sea salt and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes until deep golden brown. Place several thicknesses of paper towel on a flat surface and spread out nuts to cool.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Close the lid, and shake until well mixed and sugar is dissolved.
2. Arrange bok choy decoratively on plates. Scatter with chopped avocado and minced red onion. Drizzle with dressing and finish off with a shower of cashew/sesame mixture.

Serves 4 as a side salad


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