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Wild Thing

Boy, are we ever having a heat wave!  Just in time for harvesting our 5500 heads of garlic.  The good news is it’s great for garlic; not so much for us garlic diggers and cleaners.  We get up early while the heat is bearable, then stop by midday to avoid becoming ill.  This is definitely the time of year for simplicity in the kitchen.  You can always throw something on the grill, but I really go for meal salads.  They don’t heat up the kitchen, and you can munch on them for a few days.  Virtually any grain or bean will work well, combined with vegetables of your choice.  I go for texture differences whenever possible; which usually means crunch and savory elements.  I’ve been making this salad for decades.  It’s great for a picnic (no mayo) and can be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd.



  1. 1 cup long grain wild rice, cooked, drained and cooled

  2. 8 pieces of bacon, chopped, fried and drained

  3. 2 cups celery, diced

  4. 2 cups white onion, diced

  5. 4 ounces white or brown mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced

  6. 2 cups curly parsley, chopped

  7. 1 cup pecans or almonds, toasted


  1. 1/2 cup sunflower oil

  2. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  3. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



  1. Measure 3 cups water into a medium saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and stir in wild rice.  Turn down to low, partially cover and cook for 40 minutes.  Drain in a wire colander and set aside to cool.

  2. Chop bacon, fry until crisp and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, place cooled wild rice, with celery, onions, mushrooms, pecans and parsley.

  4. Place ingredients for dressing in a pint mason jar.  Seal with lid and shake vigorously.  Pour over salad and mix thoroughly but gently.

  5. Serve on a platter and top with crumbled bacon.

Serves 4-6


“I love how summer just wraps its warm arms around you like a blanket.”  —Kelle Elmore

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