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]
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cook the wild rice according to the package instructions; this usually takes around 25 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with sesame seeds (if using) and the mushroom bacon on top.