Whenever I am working with an ancient grain that’s new to me, I always turn to Maria Speck, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based food writer who specializes in making all sorts of whole grains accessible to ordinary cooks. This recipe is adapted from her book “Simply Ancient Grains.” The rice will more than likely come from Minnesota; while wild rice grows in Maine, none of it is commercially available. But do make use of Maine’s abundance of mushrooms and the lovely sage and rosemary that are growing in profusion now. I used goat cheese from Fredrickson Farm in China.

Serves 6


1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend

1 (3-inch) sprig fresh rosemary


2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 pound (about 4 cups) mixed Maine mushrooms, halved if large, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (about 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup torn parsley leaves

2 ounces aged goat cheese, shaved

To prepare the wild rice, combine the rice with 2 cups water and rosemary sprig in a small, heavy saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the kernels split and are tender with a slight bite, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain, return to the pot, cover, and set aside.

To make the salad, melt the butter into 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, shallots, 1 tablespoon of the sage and the rosemary. Stir to coat in fat and leave the mixture be for 4-5 minutes so the mushrooms caramelize on one side. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Add black pepper to taste.

To finish, transfer the wild rice to a large salad bowl. Combine with the mushroom mixture, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fold in the remaining 1 tablespoon sage and all of the parsley leaves. Top with the shaved aged goat cheese.

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