This is exactly the kind of thing I want to eat now that it's the new year. Cheap, easy, healthy, good.
I guess this is more of a hot rice salad than anything else, though I don't exactly think of it that way. I'm much more likely to call it "rice stuff" or possibly "a big tasty mess." I'm perfectly happy with those titles, especially since "mess" usually equals "delicious" around here; however, they aren't really that descriptive. So let's call it hot rice salad with Mediterranean vegetables.
That wasn't so bad, was it?
Hot rice salad with Mediterranean vegetables
red onion (or yellow; it's cool)
salt, pepper, oregano, basil, maybe some marjoram
If you don't happen to have a bunch of leftover rice lying around, put a pot of it on first. Give it maybe fifteen minutes or so before you start cooking everything else; this way the rice should be done by the time you need it. I used long grain brown, which was more than satisfactory.
When you're ready to cook, warm up a wide sauté pan and sauté some chopped onion and garlic in a slug of olive oil. Since I was cooking just for me, I probably used about a quarter of a red onion and two or three cloves of garlic. If you like hot pepper, you may want to mince some up and add it as well.
While the onion and garlic soften, chop up some green olives and add them to the pan. Chop up part of a red pepper and add it to the pan. Drain some artichoke hearts of any overambitious marinade, quarter them, and add them to the pan. It's pretty much all cutting things up and adding them to the pan.
Add some salt, oregano, basil, and whatever other herb you think might sound good, stir everything to combine, and cook for about five minutes, or until the vegetables are nice and tender. Deglaze with a splash of dry vermouth if you have some hanging around. Then add a couple big spoonfuls of tomato puree (or sauce, or whatever). If you add more tomato, the finished business will end up more like a pasta sauce, which is great, if that's what you want. You could totally put this on pasta. However, we are currently doing rice.
Anyway. Give the tomato sauce a few minutes to cook, so all the flavors distribute well. You might need to add some more salt at this point too. Then add as much rice as you like. You want to aim for a roughly equal volume of vegetable mix and rice, or maybe a little more vegetables, but it's ultimately up to you.
Give it another five minutes or so on the heat while you wash and chop a big handful of greens. I used the darkest of red chard, with red leaves as well as green, which was awesome, but you can use practically any cookable green you like. I maybe wouldn't go for the very sturdiest greens like cabbage or collards, but other than that, use whatever you want.
Add your greens to the pan, stir to mix, and cook for another minute, or until they're just wilted. Sturdier greens will take a few more minutes; tender greens will wilt just fine off the heat entirely. Turn off the burner, add some chopped parsley, and you're done.
Now eat it and feel better about your life and the world in general.