What to do when your veggie bin starts looking like your sock drawer? You know, when it’s filled to the brim of pairs and bunches, singlets and halves…so full you have you hold the contents down to close the drawer, risking a stuck hand or avalanche of socks falling to the floor?
Having a summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s amazing to have a weekly delivery of fresh, nourishing farm-fresh veggies. Can we talk about fresh snap beans off the vine? Because they are the sweetest, crispiest, most delightful of all the veggies. I digress.
But it’s tough to use all the veggies before they start looking a little wilted. As you know, a piece of me wilts when I throw once-edible food in the trash. Every bean and banana I’ve ever thrown away made me cringe with horror at myself and lack of discipline.
Well, I thought that feeling couldn’t get any worse…until I met the farmer who grows my food. Because there is a face and a life behind my swiss chard. A face that is working in the beating sun to ensure I have fresh food on my table at night. Oy.
To clear all this kind-of-ridiculous noise from my head, I made a fast dinner with all the CSA veggies in my fridge. We’re talking roots (beets and carrots), greens (beet greens, chard, and spinach), herbs and aromatics (onions and leeks), peas (snow peas and sugar snaps), herbs (basil and scallions) and bean sprouts. Each fork full had a healthy dose of veggies (though all the things were dressed up in that lovely beet-pink color).
The Cast: Everything-In-The-CSA-Bag Fried Rice
Slightly crunchy, wholly nutritious threatened veggies
Nutty brown rice
Protein-packed fried eggs
Fragrant, peppy ginger
Pungent garlic and onions
Salty, funky soy sauce
Umami-packed fish sauce
Do note, if you use beets, the whole shebang will be that beautiful pink hue. Have fun. Be brave. Embrace the magenta juice. Don’t have beets? Don’t sweat it–use whatever you have on hand.
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower oil, divided + 2 tsp. oil (and more as needed)
- 2 large eggs, lightly scrambled
- 6 cups of veggies, thinly sliced, diced, or chopped (separated by the following categories: roots –hard things like parsnips, carrots, etc—squash, onions, greens, peas, and herbs
- 2 roasted beets, cut in ¼ inch dice (optional)
- 3 ½ cups leftover brown rice, refrigerated
- 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup veggie or chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce (plus more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil (plus more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. Mirin
- 1 scant tsp. fish sauce
- Heat 2 tsp sunflower oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When it is up to temperature, add eggs. Let them sit, frying for a minute and flip with a slotted metal spatula, scraping up the egg along the bottom. Let the egg cook a minute or two more until it's cooked through, roughly chopping as you go. Remove the egg and place in a large bowl.
- Next, heat 1 Tbsp. oil. Add onions (if using) and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove onions from wok and place in the bowl with the eggs and roasted beets, if using (see headnote).
- Add 1 Tbsp. more oil to the wok. Add root veggies and cook until just softened, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl of eggs and onions.
- Add peas and any other 'soft' vegetable (like squash) and sauté for 1 minute or until the skin is just browned. Remove with slotted metal spatula and add to the bowl with eggs and root veggies.
- Add cold rice to the empty wok, breaking apart clumps with your spatula (or whatever you’re using). Make a well in the center of the rice. Add a little sunflower oil and add the garlic and ginger. Stir to coat with oil and sauté for about 30 seconds. Fold the rice into the center to incorporate with the ginger and garlic.
- Add the stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and fish sauce. Stir until rice is well coated.
- Add eggs, greens, and veggies to the rice, and fold until everything is well incorporated and heated through.
- Remove from heat and drizzle a little more soy sauce over the top. Add a generous cupful each of chopped basil, green onions, and sprouts. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy.