Hearty and satisfying, slightly spicy but comforting too, this recipe for Andouille, Broccoli Rabe and Spinach Fried Rice beats to its own drum unapologetically. And it likes being different.
The end of the academic year came suddenly this year, sneaking up on us — or perhaps just me — like Pennywise in a Stephen King thriller. One day I was asking the kids about their spelling tests, science projects and new friends and the next day, we were buying gift cards for teachers and writing thank you notes.
For the kids, the school year ended with the usual fanfare of field days and cleaning out desks, both things I remember fondly from my school days. It had conclusion to it, an ending to what they’d nervously begun in September as new students in a strange new state.
But for me? It didn’t have that same note of ending. One day I packed their school lunches and rushed to the bus, and the next day it was over. Summer began, we went away to visit family and then it was suddenly time for camp, long walks outside and watching fireworks.
I still can’t believe it’s July.
Albert Einstein proved that time is relative, not absolute, and I’ve been feeling that acutely lately. Though we dwell in life’s little moments, dashing to the indoor pool for swimming while snowflakes swirl outside or enjoying an unexpected ice cream run after dinner, we blink and the frigid days of February have blossomed into the warm days of July. How does that happen?
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity,” Einstein said.
This year has been like Einstein’s ‘pretty girl.’ It’s been good and exciting, brimming with happy moments and unexpected surprises. There’s been so much laughter as we’ve embraced a different life in a different place. The kids have forged bonds, and found their places here.
Sure, there were challenges, but overall, it’s been wonderful. It’s been a time of discovery and reinventing, where single conversations can spark amazing things. While I approached the year slowly and deliberately, making choices carefully, time has been speedy as hell. Has it really been just a year that we’ve lived in Maine? But wasn’t it only yesterday that we were still living on a tree-lined street in Connecticut?
But though time has moved relatively fast, I am happy for the ‘pretty girl’-ness of it. There’s been so much joy, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
In the kitchen, the onset of summer has renewed my love of seasonal cooking. Weekly trips to the farmers market result in an overflowing basket of greens, chicken, sausage and more. From that, I craft our weekly meal plans. And at the end of the week, I get creative with whatever is leftover.
This dish came from a week like that. We’d been overzealous filling bags with fresh spinach and broccoli rabe, and these nutrient-rich greens needed a home. Fried rice, one of my favorite dishes, seemed the perfect solution.
Though fried rice is traditionally made with egg, I make it often without mixing the egg in. Instead, I whip up fried eggs or poached eggs and serve them atop the rice. In the end, I prefer the creaminess of a runny yolk sliding through the rice over tradition.
In this recipe, zesty — perhaps even a little spicy — andouille sausage gives this fried rice a bite. Filled with fresh broccoli rabe and spinach this dish is hearty and satisfying.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch radishes, small diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 link precooked andouille sausage, sliced and quartered (about ¾ cup)
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli rabe
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry jasmine rice, prepared
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the radishes and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just beginning to lightly brown. Add the sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes, until warmed.
- Add the chopped broccoli rabe and spinach to the pan and toss well to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until wilted. Add the garlic and toss well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Push the vegetable mixture to one side of the pan. Add the sesame oil and cooked rice. Cook, tossing with the oil, until it's well distributed, and then mix with the vegetables.
- Drizzle in the soy sauce and toss well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and enjoy.