A delicious and healthy salad prepared with marvelous millet and Mediterranean seasonings. Millet is a wonderful grain, highly nutritious and gluten-free, very easy to digest – something I recommend keeping in your cupboard! It it is considered one of the least allergenic grains. It is rich in B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium and potassium, protein and fiber. I like its nutty flavor, and I use it for both savory and sweet dishes. Millet is an ancient grain, originally from Africa and China but used by the Romans, too. In Italy it became popular in Middle Ages, and we still enjoy it nowadays especially in Northern Italy. In winter I make a delicious polenta with millet flour.
When preparing millet for my salad, I toast it in a skillet for a few minutes first, to enhance its nutty flavor. Then I add the liquid and cook for 15 min, let it stand for 10 min and fluff with a fork. The addition of seasonal vegetables, raisins and pine nuts makes a delicious salad that you can enjoy as a light and nutritious vegetarian meal.
INSALATA DI MIGLIO (MILLET SALAD)
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Servings: 4
320 g (1+ 1/2 cups) millet
6 tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 carrots, finely cubed
1 red pepper, finely cubed
3 zucchini, finely cubed
250 g (2 cups) frozen peas
100 g (3/4 cup) raisins
60 g (1/2 cup) lightly toasted pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Wash millet under cold running water several times. Drain in a thick colander and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. When it is dry, in a large skillet toast millet on medium heat for 4 min, stirring constantly. Add water (1 cup millet, 2 cups water), bring to boil, reduce heat. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 15 min. Avoid stirring it (unless it sticks to the bottom of the pan), because it will break the grains and change its texture. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 10 min. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool
2. While millet is cooking, in a non-stick pan saute onion and garlic over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring frequently
3. Add carrots, pepper, raisins and pine nuts and toss for a few minutes
4. Add zucchini, cook for 5 minutes. At this point add the peas and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times to prevent burning. Add salt and pepper to taste. The cooking time for the vegetables can vary according to your taste: crispy versus soft and well cooked. I go for crispy!
5. In a large bowl mix vegetables and millet. Toss to mix all the ingredients. Paola
Note: Millet salad is better prepared fresh, as millet does not keep its flavor and texture the next day. Paola