For the brown rice:
4 1/2 cups water
2 cups short-grain brown rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the chard:
8 cups chopped chard leaves and ribs, from about 8 to 10 ounces chard
1 lemon, juiced, about 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the romesco sauce:
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 (4-ounce) jar sliced pimiento peppers, drained
1 (12-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup peeled almonds
1/2 cup loosely packed cup chopped Italian parsley
1 small slice sourdough bread, torn into pieces (optional — omit for gluten-free dish)
Optional accompaniments to serve:
Chopped roasted almonds
Minced Italian parsley
Sliced roasted chicken or smoked sausage
To cook the rice, heat the water to boiling in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the rice and the salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, then cool and refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days.
To cook the chard, rinse the chard well then pat dry. Mix the lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add the garlic and sauté or stir-fry for 10 seconds, just until it begins to color. Add the chard, one handful at a time, waiting if necessary for it to wilt down before adding another. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper as you add the greens, and continue to stir-fry or sauté. When all the chard is in the pan, pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and continue cooking for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the chard is done to your liking. Cool then refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days.
To make the romesco sauce, heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the pimiento peppers and the tomatoes; stir vigorously to help the tomatoes break up. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the smoked paprika, vinegar, almonds, and parsley and remove from the heat.
Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor. If using the bread, add now and blend until smooth. (The bread will give the sauce a silkier texture, but it's fine to leave it out for a glute