- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 4
Eggs and rice is one of those meals you know will be fine at worst, and euphoric at best. It also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly combinations. Both ingredients are as filling as they are cheap, so I probably make some iteration weekly: Maybe the eggs are scrambled with cheddar or fried crisp in olive oil. Maybe the rice is white or brown or long or short. Perhaps there are leftover roasted or pickled vegetables on the side. Or just hot sauce. Anything goes. When I want to make eggs and rice into a more refined (dare I say euphoric!) meal, something I’d just as soon make for a guest as I would eat straight from the mixing bowl, I make green rice and eggs.
With a similar flavor profile to Mexican arroz verde, leftover rice ($1.80) is tossed with a verdant, spicy mix of cilantro, scallions, jalapeño, and garlic ($2). The herby rice is then warmed in a skillet until crispy (though not as scorched or sturdy as Persian tahdig or Korean nurungji), then gets cozy with charred kale ($2) and jammy eggs (one to two per person, $1.50 to $3). Douse it all with lime zest and juice ($0.30) and, if you’d like, finish each serving with a handful of buttery salted nuts (about $0.60 per ¼ cup peanuts; $1.30 for cashews). —Rebecca Firkser
Test Kitchen Notes
Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52 and lover of leftover rice. Each month, Rebecca will share an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four (or just you, four times)—all for $10 or less. —The Editors
large bunch cilantro or parsley (or a mixture of both, about 3 to 4 ounces), leaves and all stems
scallions, white and all green parts, root discarded
jalapeño, halved, seeds removed if desired
garlic clove, smashed and peeled
cooked white long-grain rice (from about 1½ cups dry)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 8
large eggs, at room temperature (1 to 2 per person)
extra-virgin olive oil
large bunch (about 1 pound) kale, chard, or another leafy green, leaves stripped from stems and roughly torn into large pieces (save those stems in the freezer for soup!)
Roasted salted peanuts or cashews, roughly chopped (optional)
- Roughly chop the cilantro (and/or parsley) and scallions, then place in the bowl of a food processor along with the jalapeño and garlic. Pulse a few times, until the mixture is very finely chopped but not a paste. (Alternatively, just very finely chop everything by hand.) Scrape all but 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a large bowl. Add the cooked rice and season with a big pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Toss well to combine and set aside.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Carefully lower the eggs into the pot, reduce the heat to medium-high, and boil for 6 to 8 minutes (the less time, the runnier the yolk). Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and you see a few wisps of smoke. Add half of the kale to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and quickly toss to coat. Let char, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until mostly wilted and charred in some places. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate or bowl.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high. Scrape the rice mixture into the pan and press it down firmly with a spatula. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the rice starts to crisp on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Toss and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until warmed through and slightly crisped. Return to the large bowl, then toss with the kale.
- Using a Microplane or fine grater, zest the lime into the rice mixture. Halve the lime, and juice half over the rice. Toss with the reserved raw herb mixture. Peel and halve the eggs, then season the yolks with salt and pepper. Divide the rice mixture between plates or bowls, and top each with a few egg halves. Cut the rest of the lime into wedges for squeezing over and top with the nuts, if desired.