This is one of those dishes that came together from bits and scraps, and it was so good we had to give it its own identity. When I cook in the summer, I tend to make extra to cover the days when I don’t want to cook, and I’ll often have a tub of leftover grains, grilled chicken or fish, and grilled or roasted veggies that make quick work of so many recipes.
The unlikely stars of this fried rice are Swiss chard stems, which I save in a bag in the fridge as I work through the copious summer Swiss chard that tends to come my way. The stems have much more longevity than the leaves; a bag of them can stay fresh for up to 3 weeks. They have a satisfying crunch, a wonderful flavor (think celery meets beet), and if you use stems of rainbow chard, they look like bits of confetti. The salmon can be cooked any way you like here, as you’re just going to break it down into bites. If you’re planning the week’s meals, plan for salmon one day, and use the leftovers the next night.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 small onion)
- 12 ounces roughly chopped Swiss chard stems (from about 2 bunches)
- 1 medium fennel bulb (about 10 ounces), halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 1 pound cooked salmon, flaked
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- Rice vinegar and tamari or soy sauce
- Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and begins to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Swiss chard stems, fennel, and salt, and continue to cook, stirring often, until both vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Fold the rice and salmon into the vegetables, and continue to cook until the salmon is warm and the rice is crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large platter or wide bowl and top with dill. Serve with the rice vinegar and tamari on the table, so people may season their rice as they wish.