The chard that I’m able to get at this time of year has wide stems that I can sometimes cook and serve with the leaves but occasionally reserve for another day. Here I braised the stems in some lovely chicken broth just made from a roasted bird, then used the remainder of the broth as the cooking liquid for brown rice. Resembling a risotto, the rice was creamy but still nutty from the hulls of the grains, and the chard stems offered a terrific counterpoint. Since the dish was already pretty rich, I decided to “cut it” with a dab of the unctuous liquid from a jar of preserved lemons that I had put up a couple of months ago and keep stored in the fridge. The preserved lemons are salty (so don’t add any other salt to the dish) but create a flavorful kick. Tossed with snipped herbs from the pot garden and served alongside the first asparagus of the season, this was a wonderful, flavorful and comforting, but also refreshing early spring meal.