Wild Gitigan Salad

Six talented Native youth leaders from Dream of Wild Health created this salad using ingredients important to their Native American cultures as well as vegetables grown at their Hugo, Minnesota, farm. The youth promoted this salad at Minnesota Twins baseball games as part of a healthy food initiative called Roots for the Home Team that encourages local youth groups with entrepreneurial projects.

Cherry tomatoes are delicious in this salad, but if you can find ground cherries at a farmers’ market or grow your own, they are amazing! Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.


For the salad:

4 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ cups whole wild rice
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup cooked black beans (if using dried beans, 1/3 cup dried yields 1 cup cooked)
2 bunches (about 8 cups) kale
1 cup baby tomatoes or ground cherries, rinsed and halved
½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper


Cook the black beans. Either soak beans overnight or use the quick-boil method. Then, add beans to a pot of fresh water, and boil until done, about 1-2 hours. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the wild rice. Rinse the rice well in a bowl of cold water and drain. Add rice, vegetable broth, and thyme to a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the rice stand in the pot, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside to cool.

Wash the kale and remove the ribs. Thinly slice the kale into ribbons. Using a salad spinner, spin until most of the water is gone.

In a large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt. Massage the kale until it starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil.

To serve, add the wild rice, black beans, tomatoes or ground cherries, and sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to combine.