“Wild rice is such a staple and you can do so much with it,” says Rivanna Zeller, a sous-chef at Gatherings Cafe inside the Minneapolis American Indian Center. They come from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and have been making desserts for elders in the Minneapolis community as part of Gatherings Cafe’s meal delivery. Zeller didn’t want to rely on dairy, processed sugars, and flour, because those aren’t native ingredients, so they came up with this simple (and vegan!) dessert: a palm-size tart crusted with crispy wild rice and brimming with berries.
Zeller loves Native Harvest wild rice for its consistent high quality and exceptional softness; the grains are grown in the lakes of northern Minnesota and hand-harvested by Ojibwe tribe members. The wild rice forms the shells for this dessert, which are topped with dried cherries that are rehydrated in hot water to soften them as well as add body and sweetness to the strawberry filling.