Wild rice, known to the Ojibwe as manoomin, or “good seed,” is an aquatic grass native to shallow lakes and streams in the Great Lakes region.
Centuries ago, the Ojibwe sought the “food that grows on water,” and when they found it they knew they had reached their new home.
Today, wild rice is Minnesota’s state grain.
Although often prepared as a simple and tasty soup or pilaf, it is well suited to a host of other applications.
In Wild Rice Revolution, Richard LaFortune brings ingenuity and international flair to hand-harvested manoomin, sharing innovative recipes as well as regional stories from Ojibwe people.
Elders recall traditional harvests, Bois Forte band members gather manoomin from prolific Nett Lake, and millennials find creative ways to connect with this ancient food.
Offerings include appetizers like Wild Rice, Fiddlehead Fern, and Ramp Quiches, soups like Corn Chowder with Wild Rice Dumplings, and main dishes ranging from Bison and Wild Rice Burgers to Wild Rice-Stuffed Peppers.
In a final section, LaFortune presents dishes influenced by Ethiopian, Russian, Greek, and Hispanic cuisines, bringing cooks on a tour around the world.
A lively spin on a distinguished ingredient, Wild Rice Revolution abundantly celebrates this highly sustainable super food.
Wild Rice Revolution is the fifth book in the Northern Plate series, celebrating the bounty of the Upper Midwest by focusing on a single ingredient, exploring its historical uses as well as culinary applications across a range of dishes.
Cook and activist Richard LaFortune caters community events and has worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Lucia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar.
A founder of Dream of Wild Health, he blogs at Richard’s Table, anguksuar.wordpress.com.