You may have noticed.... I have greens on my mind. After converting our backyard to a vegetable plot nearly two years ago and watching the successes and failures of varying crops, I have come to see greens as the gems of the garden. Mustard inspired my last post, and for today's recipe I harvested rainbow chard and beet greens.
This recipe was a happy accident. A couple of weeks ago I steamed some brown rice and sauteed a couple of bunches of chard when I decided to throw the two together and continued to add other goodies that were complimentary in flavor. Luckily, I wrote down the details of these ingredients so I could recreate this scrumptious improvisation and share it with you. The rice salad is the kind of one dish meal that travels well and could be great to take to work for lunch, or share at a potluck. I hope you enjoy.
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2 bunches chard, beet greens, and/or spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 2 blood oranges
- 2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces feta
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
Prepare rice and let it cool to room temperature. Brown rice is critical to the success of this dish - important both for its nutty flavor and nutritional value. Wild rice could also work, but not white.
Toast walnuts, chop, and set aside.
Wash greens. Remove stems. Chop leaves. If you are using chard for this salad, chop the stems as well. In large saute pan, heat olive oil (enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan) over medium heat. When oil is hot add chopped chard stems. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add chopped garlic. Cook garlic with stems for one minute. Add greens and a splash of water to pan. Cover and cook until greens are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
Zest 1 blood orange and set aside for garnish.
Prepare the dressing. Juice 2 blood oranges. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and salt. Mix. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil to emulsify dressing.
When both rice and chard are no longer hot, but pleasantly warm, toss them together in mixing bowl. Gently fold in feta and walnuts. Top with orange zest and 1 tablespoon chopped (or "torn" - Thomas Keller's recommended preparation for herbs) tarragon. Salt to taste.
Serve at room temp. We ate this salad with grilled salmon and it was delicious.