Wild rice, an aquatic grass not related to common rice, is native to North America and grows wild predominately in the Great Lakes region. It can be found growing in many of Northern Minnesota’s lakes, marshes, and streams. The state is one of the largest producers of commercially grown wild rice in the US. Wild rice has been a staple food of Native Americans, particularly the Ojibway, Menomini, and Cree tribes. It has more protein and minerals than most cereal grains like wheat, oats, and corn. Wild rice is hearty with an earthy, nutty flavor that is sometimes compared to the taste and texture of meat. The nutritious grain is used in a variety of foods such as soups, salads, dressings, casseroles, breakfast cereals, pancake batter, muffins, cookies, and as a substitute for meat in vegetarian burgers like in this recipe.
Recipe Servings: 6
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed well but not soaked
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- ½ cup old fashioned oats, toasted
- ½ cup mushrooms, diced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Oil, as needed for frying
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 12 slices whole-wheat bread
- 6 slices pepper jack cheese
- Roasted red pepper vinaigrette dressing, as needed
- Combine the wild rice, water, and ½ teaspoon sea salt in a saucepan with a lid.
- Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45–60 minutes or until tender.
- Drain any excess liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Grind the oats in a food processor or blender until they have the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
- Stir together the ground oats, cooked wild rice, and mushrooms in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, mayonnaise, and yogurt, mixing to combine.
- Whisk together the white pepper, remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
- Stir the seasonings into the wild rice mixture.
- Divide the mixture into six equal portions, form them into patties, and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 40–45 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden on both sides.
- Heat oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sauté until caramelized, and then remove from the heat.
- Place each cooked patty on a slice of bread and top it with a slice of cheese followed by caramelized onions and other toppings as desired.
- Spread dressing on the remaining six slices of bread, and then place them dressing-side down over the toppings to make sandwiches.
- Return the skillet to the heat and toast each of the sandwiches, flipping halfway, until the cheese melts and both sides of the bread have browned.
- Remove sandwiches from the heat, slice diagonally, and serve immediately.
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