Warm Rice Salad with Chard, Feta, Walnuts, and Blood Orange

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.

Serves 4-6  


  1. This looks amazing! I love the idea of a blood orange vinaigrette.

  2. I happened to have all the ingredients needed to make this salad, I got some beautiful red chard from my last FFTY box, blood oranges, fresh from the farmers market and I haven't eaten rice in a while.... so I'm making this for dinner tonight.

  3. so cool to see the 2 salad shots you finally chose. perfect choices. and those dreamy chard/beet green shots are fabulous. wow.

  4. M, So cool that you had all of the ingredients on hand. I hope you enjoyed the dish!

  5. congrats on delicious links....as this salad is truly delicious :)

  6. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    I just came across this recipe while searching for beet green recipes. Oh my...I'm in love with this recipe. I made with toasted sunflower seeds, b/c that's what I had and I used white wine vinegar. THANK YOU for exposing me to this. I'll definitely check out some of your other recipes as well.

  7. What a kind comment! I am so glad you liked the recipe and I bet the sunflower seeds were delish!

  8. This was delicious and relatively easy to make. My family loves garlic, so I minced a large clove of garlic and added it to the oil before heating.

  9. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good. I like that it is about 1/2 veggies and 1/2 grains. I didn't use much of the dressing as it was good with just a bit. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Mary. It's a treat to hear how the recipe works in your kitchen. I'm so glad you liked the dish.


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