Ground bisonis leaner and more nutrient-densethan beef yet offers a similar flavor. In this gently tweaked recipe from “Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us” (Harvest, $40), chef Nico Albert, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, combines it with mineral-rich wild rice to tuck into lettuce leaves. Tangy red-hued sumac spice, which is high in disease-fighting antioxidants, is well worth seeking out for its unique taste and other benefits, but if you can’t find it, grated lemon zest and juice will suffice. Adapt it for vegans by replacing the bison with more mushrooms. Serves 4-6. – Susan Puckett
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground bison
- 8 ounces portobello or other sturdy wild mushrooms
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground sumac (or grated zest and juice of 1 lemon)
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (or wild rice blend)
- ½ cup small-diced jicama
- ½ cup small-diced celery
- ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro, or combination)
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- Little gemor romaine lettuce leaves
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the bison and sauté, breaking the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked throughand some browned bits stick to the pan.
- Add the mushrooms, cranberries, salt, pepper, and sumac (or lemon juice and grated rind). Continue to cook, stirring frequently.
- When the mushrooms have softened, add 1 cup of water and stir, scraping the bottom or the pan to loosen up the flavorful browned bits. Cook until almost all the moisture has evaporated.
- Add the wild rice, jicama, and celery and stir to combine. When the mixture is heated through, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the herbs and scallions.
- To serve, spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves and eat taco-style.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.