This recipe right here will prove that salads need to be neither cold nor boring. A salad done right bursts with flavor and leaves you satisfied for hours, not minutes. It’s a question of having a solid, carby base, plenty of texture, a good dressing and a fun twist—such as the mushroom bacon in this case. The versatility of a rice salad makes it suitable for winter party tables and barbecues alike. If you don’t have wild rice, any rice variety of your choice would make a great alternative!     Reprinted with permission from Earthy Vegan Eats by Maria Gureeva, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021. Photo credit: Maria Gureeva.

Wild Rice Salad with Mushroom Bacon [Vegan]

Serves

3-4

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (240 g) dry wild rice
  • 3 king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tamari
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) paprika
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 large cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup (55 g) chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) tahini
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) sesame seeds (optional)
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook the wild rice according to the package instructions; this usually takes around 25 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice the king oyster mushrooms lengthwise and then slice each segment into quarters. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over high heat and cook the mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes, until they soften and shrink down.
  4. Add the tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke and paprika. Stir for 5 minutes, then transfer to the lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for around 5 to 7 minutes, until crispy.
  5. Drain and rinse the rice and transfer it to a large mixing bowl with the carrot, cucumber and lettuce. Stir well. Add the tahini and lime juice, then stir once again. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with sesame seeds (if using) and the mushroom bacon on top.
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