WTTW Food recently spoke to Chef Jessica Pamonicutt, the owner and executive chef of the catering and pop-up business Ketapanen Kitchen, which specializes in indigenous ingredients and cuisine. She shared this recipe for traditional Menominee wild rice and berries.
“This is a traditional dish of the Menominee people, although many tribes in the Great Lakes region enjoy this dish,” Pamonicutt writes. “Historically, it was served at ceremonies and feasts. This dish is still very popular in Indian Country and a regular dish in my own home.”
Traditional Menominee Wild Rice & Berries
1 cup traditional wild rice
8 cups of water
1 pint mixed organic blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
1 pint organic strawberries, sliced
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup real maple syrup
1. Rinse wild rice. Add to a large pot and fill with the 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, lower heat to maintain a simmer. Occasionally, I add berry juice to the water as it boils. This is optional.
3. Cook the rice until it starts puffing out. The time depends on the type of rice you use; it's generally around 40 minutes. (See picture below for reference). The longer you cook the rice, the puffier and softer it will be. If you prefer softer rice, the final dish will be closer to a pudding than a salad. I like it both ways.
4. Once the rice is cooked, strain. Add maple syrup to the rice and mix thoroughly. Let cool. Add in your berries and gently mix together. Sprinkle nuts on top. Chill and serve.