Fried Greens and Rice with Ginger

fried greens and rice with ginger

I had planned on taking Milo and Loretta to the play gym yesterday morning, but the community center has moved the playtime to 1:00.  What toddlers are awake at 1:00?  Budget cuts, probably.  So we're in the car, in the middle of a torrential downpour (Did I sing the praises of fall recently?  I take it back.), and I'm not about to go back to the messy house. Grocery shopping to the rescue again.  We drove to the Safeway that has truck grocery carts with little steering wheels--you know, the kind that are impossible to steer and make you feel like a drunk driver.  The two of them sitting side-by-side lasted about five minutes, but I tried. We left a trail of goldfish around the store, and a few shoppers even thought we were cute.  Those smiles matter a lot to me, actually, because they make up for the leers I've gotten from bumping into other shoppers with my cumbersome cart.

I could dedicate several posts to how much I dislike Safeway, but sometimes torrential downpours and fighting toddlers prevent me from going to the produce stand and other favorite places.  Things I never buy at Safeway:  spices, olive oil, coffee, salsa. Things I rarely buy:  fruit and vegetables.  Good deals at Safeway:  flour, sugar, eggs, milk. Don't get me started on grocery store comparison.  Okay.  I'll say one thing--Ballard Market is my favorite.  We lived near there when we were first married, and I'm still hopelessly attached.  Every once in awhile, I'll drive up and shop there for a treat.  Some women go the spa, I go in search of a good bulk foods department.

But I found a gorgeous head of Savoy cabbage at Safeway yesterday--bright green outer leaves, tight and curly, lying there in the bin just waiting for Georgia O'Keefe to paint it.  And some fresh brussel sprouts.  Good ones are bright green, tightly closed, and have shiny skins.  When we got home, I sliced the Savoy into thin ribbons and made little wedges of the brussels, fried them over high heat with lots of julienned ginger, Thai chile, and garlic.  I threw in a little bit of cooked rice at the end, doused everything in soy sauce, and ate Fall in a Bowl while the kids stopped fighting long enough to eat their bagel and cream cheese.

I didn't call this "fried rice" because it's really more a bunch of greens with a little rice to bind it together.  Like chopped salad or soup, this is a great way to get heaps of vegetables in one serving, and you'll have energy aplenty to get you to dinnertime. After you've braved Safeway with toddlers, you'll need it.

Fried Greens and Rice with Ginger
Serves two.  If you want to make more, do it in batches.  I've talked here about why--you want crusty bits and not a mushy pile. Lately I've been using my big nonstick skillet for fried rice instead of my wok, because I'm still having trouble with starchy things sticking to my cast-iron wok.  I'm either doing something wrong, it needs to be seasoned more (!!), or it's just not the best medium for fried rice.  Stay tuned--I know you're on the edge of your seat.

1 Tb. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 Thai or other spicy chile, seeded and cut into strips
4 c. thinly sliced savoy cabbage (or other cabbage or leafy green--collards, kale)
1 c. brussel sprouts, cut into about 6 wedges each
1 c. broccoli florets
3/4 c. cold cooked rice (or other grail, like quinoa, barley, etc.)
2 Tb. soy sauce
handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
2 egg, fried over-easy or sunny-side-up

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add vegetable oil, heat up for a second, then add garlic, ginger, and chiles.  Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add cabbage, brussel sprouts, and broccoli, and saute over medium high heat until cabbage starts to wilt and the brussel sprouts are becoming blackened in spots, about 3 minutes.  You can add a little more oil if things seem too dry.

Add rice and soy sauce, stirring to break up rice and coat everything with soy sauce.  Dump into bowls, put a hot fried egg on top, and garnish with cilantro.