We first read about Wild Gitigan Salad, or “wild garden salad,” at the First Nations Development Institute’s website, and we are so glad we did. The wild rice and kale combination gives a solid base to this salad that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites, while the thyme, grated cheese (we love the Parmesan option), and lemony dressing bring a savory zing of flavors.
All the ingredients are foundational to several Native American cultures and are brought together here with the energy of native youth leaders in Minnesota. Read more at www.firstnations.org
For the salad:
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ cups whole wild rice
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup cooked black beans (if using dried beans, 1/3 cup dried yields 1 cup cooked)
2 bunches (about 8 cups) kale
1 cup baby tomatoes or ground cherries, rinsed and halved
½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon fresh-grated lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper
Cook the black beans. Either soak beans overnight or use the quick-boil method. Then, add beans to a pot of fresh water, and boil until done, about 1–2 hours. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cook the wild rice. Rinse the rice well in a bowl of cold water and drain. Add rice, vegetable broth, and thyme to a pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or according to package directions. Remove from heat and let the rice stand in the pot, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Wash the kale and remove the ribs. Thinly slice the kale into ribbons. Using a salad spinner, spin until most of the water is gone.
In a large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt. Massage the kale until it starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil.
To serve, add the wild rice, black beans, tomatoes or ground cherries, and sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to combine.
Courtesy of Dream of Wild Health, via www.firstnations.org