A recent Bon Appetit article I read referenced the simple theory I’ve heard many a time when it comes to nutrition: try to put every color on your plate. Testing out a new San Francisco farmers’ market in mid-summer, this was a pretty easy challenge to accept.
After grabbing first and asking questions later at the Civic Center farmers market, where I finally found great cheap local produce, I found this summer veggie stir fry recipe from the article to be pretty well aligned with what I had bought. The recipe is super flexible – you just need any veggies on hand, a good solid grain, and herbs to make a quick sauce. I had a wild rice medley from Trader Joe’s, a mix of zuchinni, squash, cherry tomatoes, and japanese eggplant, and a handful of parsley and basil. The sauce was great – a light, vinegary twist on pesto that was really nice drizzled over the final product.
For the veggies, I’d recommend doing the eggplant separately so you don’t end up overcooking everything else trying to get it soft – I always have too much optimism on eggplant’s cooking time. Deglazing the pan afterward with some extra vinegar (or white wine would be great) went a long way too. I’m sure the BA recommendation of using cooked then toasted farro would be great – this is a more realistic weeknight version.
With the leftovers I made a simple carrot ginger juice. My roommate heard that ingesting enough carrots gives your a skin a tan-like, if not slightly orange, glow – just the kind of urban legend us freckly folk will always try at least once. In a foggy San Francisco summer, you’ve got to drink your sunshine. We’ll see how both theories work out…
Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry
Adapted from Bon Appetit
3 cups mixed herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, tarragon, celery leaves)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 half-inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 garlic clove
7 Tbsp veggie oil (I used olive)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
2 cups cooked & cooled brown or wild rice (like Trader Joe’s wild rice medley)
4 cups chopped mixed summer vegetables (bell peppers, zuchinni, chiles, eggplant, summer squash, carrots, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes)
Combine 2 cups herbs, 1/4 cup scallions, ginger, and garlic in a food processor. Add 4 Tbsp oil, all the vinegar, and 1/4 cup water and process until saucey. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sesame seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead)
Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until brightly colored and crisp-tender. Add remaining herbs and toss to combine. Divide vegetables over rice and drizzle with herb sauce.