Wild Rice & Bison Skewers with Cranberry & Seed Pesto

We often only see wild rice served three ways: in a soup, as a salad, and as a side grain. But there is so much more we can do with it. Wild rice has a robust, toasty flavor along with a strong texture that support much more creative recipes. From savory fritters to sweet custards, there is more than one way to husk a grain. Wild rice gets its rich color and flavor from the parching and roasting process. So, the trick is to highlight and use that flavor to enhance your dish rather than just serving it up as a side. 

 

Skewer

Yield: 4 portions (12 skewers)

  • 1 pound ground bison 
  • 2 cups wild rice, cooked and chilled 
  • 5 large mushrooms, quartered 
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt 
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper 
  • 1/3 cup fried shallots 
  • 2 tablespoons fried garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons mixed chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

In a small food processor, blitz the wild rice into a coarse meal.

Add the ground bison and wild rice into a large mixing bowl. Puree the remaining ingredients together in the food processor and add the mixture to the bison. Mix the ingredients thoroughly by hand. The mixture needs to become a little pasty to successfully adhere to the skewer sticks.

Separate the mix into twelve large meat balls. While holding the skewer with one hand, press the meatball evenly onto the open length of the skewer with the other hand. Lay the skewer onto a baking pan. Repeat the process until you are out of meatballs.

Season the top of the skewers with salt, cracked pepper, and olive oil.

Using a preheated grill set to medium heat, grill the skewers with the handle over the edge so it doesn’t burn.

Once the meat has browned on the bottom, flip the skewers over and finish the other side until it is nicely browned and cooked thoroughly. Because the meat is spread thinly across the stick, it will cook very quickly. So, don’t leave them unattended.

Serve topped with cranberry & seed pesto. 

Cranberry & Seed Pesto

Yield: 4 portions (1 cup)

1/2 cup sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, & cranberry salad topper mix
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1/3 cup parsley stems 
1 tablespoon honey 
1 teaspoon coarse salt 
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fried shallots 
1 tablespoon fried garlic 
1 teaspoon chili powder 

Puree the seed mix until it is coarsely chopped. Repeat with the parsley stems.

Add all of the remaining ingredients together and puree until combined.

Serve immediately or chilled.

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